Get Involved Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required. Contact InformationName* First Last PhoneEmail* Occupation/Former OccupationRecommendationsIf you would like to be involved in the implementation of Sangamon Success, please indicate below which recommendations you are interested in. You may select more than one.Prenatal through Age 2 Recommendation 1: Sangamon County should adopt the Nurse-Family Partnership as the principal, local means to help low-income, first-time mothers in the county get their children off to a good start. Recommendation 2: Consequently, it is proposed that if the Nurse-Family Partnership is adopted in Sangamon County, redirecting the efforts of existing home visiting programs toward families other than low-income, first time mothers and their babies may provide the most benefit for the community. Recommendation 3: The home visiting programs in Sangamon County should collaborate in developing ways to consistently measure their effects on mothers and children and use this information for the purposes of ongoing improvement and public accountability. Recommendation 4: Because low-income pregnant women, especially when young, are more likely to be socially isolated and less engaged in managing their own healthcare, it is important for the community that efforts be made to identify at risk pregnant women early in their pregnancies and connect them with the prenatal care they need. Recommendation 5: The steps taken to link at risk pregnant women to healthcare should be the first stage in a concerted effort, within the medical community, to assure that every child in less advantaged families, from the day he or she is born, can access, without undue difficulty, appropriate medical and dental care. Recommendation 6: Accordingly, it is recommended that the community, under the auspices of its medical community, create a committee consisting of physicians, nurses, and educators to serve as a forum for promoting more attention to the earliest time in a child’s life. Ages 3 through 5 Recommendation 7: Sangamon County should assure that all less advantaged children are enrolled in high quality preschool or child care during the two-year period preceding their entry into kindergarten. Recommendation 8: Preschool and child care programs should strive to provide full-day service for all less advantaged children in the county. Recommendation 9: Preschool and child care providers in the county should experiment with using home visiting in a more systematic way to help parents reinforce at home what their children are learning in preschool or child care. Recommendation 11: Preschools and child care providers should, together, examine available math curricula to see if there is one or more that could be used as a cost-effective supplement to the existing curricula in these programs. Recommendation 12: Local preschools, child care providers, and home visiting programs should collaborate with elementary schools in developing a system that would allow collecting more complete data on children’s developmental progress from birth up to their enrollment in kindergarten. Grades K through 5 Recommendation 13: The school districts in Sangamon County should review and, based on the documented needs of their kindergarten, first, and second grade students, give serious consideration to adopting one of the supplementary reading interventions with substantiated evidence of effectiveness. Support for improving the reading ability of struggling young students should be a priority for funding. Recommendation 14: Local support should be generated to finance annual book fairs, through the schools, to provide free summer books for less advantaged kindergarten, first, and second grade students. This effort could build on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the local version of which is funded by the United Way of Central Illinois for preschool students. Recommendations 15: Steps should be taken to educate elementary school teachers and out-of-school professionals involved in the education and development of children about the essential role of the executive functions of the brain in learning. Teachers and other professionals should be encouraged to incorporate executive-function-promoting activities as part of what they do to help children learn. Recommendation 16: MOSAIC represents an important commitment to the social-emotional well-being of at risk children, a commitment that should be sustained and expanded as evidence of MOSAIC’s effectiveness develops. Recommendation 17: Elementary schools in the county should establish methods for more effectively engaging less advantaged parents in supporting the educational development of their children. In designing methods, thoughtful consideration should be given to what families can do to help their children develop their executive function and self-regulatory skills and to connect with parents where they are comfortable (home or neighborhood). Recommendation 18: The community should get fully behind the expansion of demonstrably effective mentoring programs, such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters, so that all local children who could benefit from a mentor have a mentor. Recommendation 19: Local after-school programs that have given indications of being effective should be expanded to accommodate more of the less advantaged children who could benefit from their services. A commitment should be made to helping these programs develop practices that will enable them to continue to improve in quality and effectiveness. Recommendation 20: Local stakeholders in child development during the elementary school years should have a common strategy for improving academic and behavioral outcomes for less advantaged children and a way to coordinate the activities arising from this strategy with respect to individual children. Parents, teachers, and nonprofit staff should be able to see how their various efforts to help a child learn and develop reinforce one another. Grades 6 through 12 Recommendation 21: Middle and high schools in the county and nonprofit agencies that work with adolescents should develop a shared commitment and method to communicating high academic expectations and belief in the ability of individual students, regardless of their prior academic experience, in meeting those expectations. When less advantaged students are surrounded by adults who communicate confidence in their ability to succeed, they are more likely to believe that they can. Recommendation 22: Sangamon County high schools should unite in establishing dual credit programs, like Early College, with the range of local institutions of higher education to provide a more powerful incentive for capable and interested less advantaged students to pursue and achieve a college degree. At the same time, high schools should receive support from the community to further develop their career and technical education options, so that every student who remains in high school has a pathway into a useful career. Recommendation 23: Middle and high schools should collaborate with local nonprofits committed to youth development in identifying the most effective strategies and programs for keeping teenagers in school and then working to implement those initiatives. Recommendation 24: The youth mentoring programs in Sangamon County, with backing from the larger community, should commit to providing an adult mentor to every youth who needs one. No adolescent should be denied the opportunity to develop a supportive relationship with a caring adult, and no adolescent should have to go through adolescence without at least one responsible adult looking out for him or her. Recommendation 25: The four preceding recommendations should constitute elements of a community-wide strategy to support less advantaged middle and high school students. Rather than acting on these recommendations individually, they should be experienced by the adolescents at which they are aimed as a common effort. The less advantaged should be able to benefit from the same kind of community that the advantaged already have. Is there anything else you'd like to ask or share with us? 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