News release from the United Way of Allen County:
United Way’s Kindergarten Countdown students part of data sharing agreement
(July 8, 2015) – United Way of Allen County, in partnership with East Allen County Schools (EACS), and the Big Goal Collaborative (BGC), an initiative of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, signed a data access agreement in January. The agreement will allow EACS to share aggregated scores from students with BGC and United Way to assist in the betterment of education programs in Allen County. The students in the Southwick Kindergarten Countdown classrooms are among the first students followed per the agreement.
Students will be assessed upon entering the Kindergarten Countdown program, then again at the end to see what gains they have made. The students will be assessed on a regular basis through the third grade to show any gains or losses in math and literacy. This information will be provided in an aggregated form to five United Way partner agencies and three multi-agency programs to assist in strengthening work done around developing those skill sets.
“Enabling a two-way line of communication between early childhood programs and elementary education is a critical step to helping our early childhood providers accelerate growth in students,” said Ryan Twiss, Director of Regional Initiatives at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. “We are thrilled to be a part of it and applaud United Way and East Allen County Schools for their grit and determination in achieving this milestone.”
Kindergarten Countdown is a four week program aimed at helping kids prepare for school in the fall. United Way works in conjunction with Community Transportation Network, East Allen County Schools and Fort Wayne Community Schools to provide the program, which will serve approximately 160 students in eight classrooms at six elementary schools this year. United Way’s Women United group has sponsored all eight classrooms. The ultimate goal of the program is to help children who have never been in a classroom to be better prepared when school officially begins in August.
“This is a huge breakthrough for our Allen County children and United Way is excited that our Kindergarten Countdown program is kicking off this agreement,” said David Nicole, President and CEO of United Way of Allen County. “This data sharing agreement will both improve accountability and will provide us with information to help our students succeed.”
About United Way
Established in 1922, United Way of Allen County is a not-for-profit organization that works to strengthen the community through the four building blocks for a good quality of life: education, income, health and basic needs. United Way believes that quality education helps families achieve stable jobs, a safe place to live and good health. For more information, please visit www.unitedwayallencounty.org.
About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership creating business investment by generating business leads, developing product and fostering regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The 10 counties of Northeast Indiana include Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.