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1,200 kindergarten toolkits distributed to promote summer learning

Pictured: Genoa resident Natalie Wylde and her daughter Tianna exploring the contents of a kindergarten readiness toolkit.

SYCAMORE – A grant program through the DeKalb County Community Foundation has distributed 1,200 kindergarten readiness toolkits to children in every school district in DeKalb County.

The purpose of the Kindergarten Readiness Toolkits grant program, which is in its fifth year, is to help families prepare for the transition from pre-k to kindergarten. Toolkits are made possible through donor generosity to CommunityWorks Funds at the foundation.

“We are thrilled to help create a positive first step toward kindergarten by offering a toolkit that encourages play-based learning,” Foundation Community Engagement Director Teri Spartz said in a news release.

Each toolkit box includes a book, dry erase board and marker, crayons, sidewalk chalk, scissors, Farm Matching Game, dice, play-doh and information on Basics DeKalb County.

Toolkits are distributed to students and their families in the spring to ensure they have tools to promote active learning through play over the summer months.

This year, the toolkit grant program received a $5,000 grant from Sycamore Charities to assist with the program’s cost.

“People can relate to and feel good about giving to this initiative,” Spartz said in the release. “Over the years, costs have increased, making additional funding important as we continue this program.”

The toolkits drew interest from other partners like School Tool Box and the DeKalb County Farm Bureau to become a genuine community effort. The Farm Bureau donates the Farm Matching Game, while School Tool Box plays a key role in sourcing, assembling and distributing toolkits to grantees.

The grant program originated as part of the DeKalb County Collaborative for Young Children, which leads a countywide effort to better prepare children for school and life success. The DeKalb County Regional Office of Education oversees the CYC, which consists of organizations, schools and community members who serve young children and families throughout the county.

To learn more about the Kindergarten Readiness Toolkit Grant program, contact Teri Spartz at t.spartz@dekalbccf.org or 815-748-5383.

Funding for Kindergarten Readiness Toolkits is made possible through donor generosity to CommunityWorks Funds at the foundation. Donations are accepted online at dekalbccf.org/donate, or by mail to the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore, IL 60178.