The United Way of Clallam County formally recognized Early Learning
as a priority for funding in 2009. In 2016, Prevention Works! began partnering with the United Way to help administer the Great Beginnings program, focused on children ages 0-8.
The 2019 Great Beginnings Early Learning Initiative focuses on delivering services in five main areas:
- Parenting Education and Outreach
- Educating the Community on the Importance of Early Learning to a Child’s Success in School and Life
- Interventions for At-Risk Children/Universal Screening
- Systematic Approach to School Readiness
- Educating the Community on ACEs/NEAR Science and Developing Resilience in Young Children.
2019 Great Beginnings Programs:
Crescent Cooperative Pre-School — Education: Crescent Cooperative Pre-School will provide scholarships for students in-need to attend the program, as well as provide the “Parenting is a Pleasure” program for parents. The program helps students develop school readiness skills, and helps parents improve their parenting skills and awareness of their role in their children’s success in school. The program will also educate parents on resilience and how they can help shield their children from toxic stress.
First Step Family Support Center — Summer Adventure Camp: Summer Adventure Camp is s a systemic approach to school readiness that creates links between the Port Angeles School District (PASD) and early childhood educators (including parents) to ensure that children have the necessary emotional, social, and developmental skills they need to successfully transition into kindergarten and thus establish a base of success for their ongoing participation in school. The program helps to level the playing field for low-income children who typically start school less prepared than children from families who have been able to invest in preschool programs and other enriching experiences to help jumpstart their children’s social, emotional, and academic intelligence.
First Step Family Support Center — Parenting Education Classes: First Step will provide two parenting education classes using either the Making Parenting a Pleasure or Love and Logic curriculum in Port Angeles. Parents will better understand their children’s development, increase their knowledge of community resources, expand their support networks, and learn how children are impacted by ACEs.
Lutheran Community Services Northwest — Child Check: Child Check is a universal screening program open to all children between the ages of 18 months and 5 years in Clallam County. The goals are to improve parenting skills and parent/child relationships; increase early identification of social, emotional and/or behavioral disorders; increase referrals for those disorders; and ultimately improve school readiness for kindergarten.
Parenting Matters — Parent Education for Parents of Young Children: Parenting Matters will offer parent education classes in three locations in Clallam County: Sequim, Forks, and Neah Bay. The curriculum will be The Incredible Years or Make Parenting a Pleasure, depending on the community served. The Forks class will be in Spanish. Participants will increase their understanding of child development and appropriate expectations, as well as community resources available to support them. Classes will also help parents spend more time talking with and reading and listening to their children. Parents will also be educated about ACEs and how their own ACEs may impact their parenting.
Parenting Matters — First Teacher Newsletter: Parenting Matters will provide the monthly First Teacher newsletter free to families, service providers and community partners. The newsletter has information on parenting issues with best practices in positive parent education: the importance of reading to young children and beginning math, positive discipline and appropriate behaviors, health, wellness and nutrition, details of Adverse Childhood Experiences and how to build resilience, and safety information, helping children learn through play, anger management for both child and parent, child development, school readiness, plus local community resources and events for families.
Applications for 2019 Great Beginnings Early Learning Funds are closed, but the RFP and instructions are still available online as a reference for anyone who wants to learn more about the programs or apply for funds next year.