When Vic Jose and Rick Ahaus learned that more than 40 percent of children in Wayne County were NOT prepared to learn when they started school, they tackled that issue with the same intensity they put into making sure that third graders were reading at or above grade level before they started fourth grade.
Study after study showed that children who are read to from birth are more prepared to learn than their peers who are not read to. Since reading with children seemed to be the answer, Vic and Rick set about designing a program that encouraged parents to read, put books into homes and provided tips for effective reading.
In April 2012, Catherine Ann McConnaughay was hired to direct this effort and the K-Ready program started registering children and giving away FREE books. In addition to books, parents get information about the importance of reading every day as well as reading tips. K-Ready then follows up with families to reinforce the “reading everyday is important” message. Catherine Ann retired in July 2014 and Beth Norwalt was hired as the new K-Ready Director is September 2014.
In the first year K-Ready registered almost 1400 children and distributed more than 1200 books.
K-Ready’s goal is to increase the number of Wayne County children who enter school prepared to learn.
K-Ready encourages parents and caregivers to read with their children 20 minutes every day from the
day they are born. We provide children age four and younger with FREE age appropriate books and
adults with tips for reading effectively with their children. By partnering with local health care providers,
schools, and civic organizations we will strive to reach every family with young children in Wayne County.