1,130 Kindergarten Readiness Toolkits awarded

SYCAMORE – A grant through the DeKalb County Community Foundation has provided another round of Kindergarten Readiness Toolkits for children and families in DeKalb County.

Through the program, 1,130 toolkits are scheduled for distribution to help families to prepare for the transition from pre-k to kindergarten. Toolkits are provided by a grant from the foundation in partnership with School Tool Box in DeKalb. Each toolkit box includes a book, dry erase board and marker, crayons, sidewalk chalk, scissors, DeKalb County Farm Bureau Matching Game, dice, Play-Doh, a notebook, and information on Basics DeKalb County.

The grant program originated as part of the DeKalb County Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative, which leads a countywide effort to better prepare children for school and life success. The Collaborative is made up of representatives from the Community Foundation, the Trauma-Informed Committee, Community Coordinated Child Care, Children’s Home and Aid, DeKalb County Regional Office of Education, DeKalb County Health Department, DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board, local educators, and community members.

“This year, the Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative added a new way to engage families through the creation of short videos,” Teri Spartz, community engagement director at the foundation, said in a news release. “Each video features a kindergarten teacher who demonstrates ways to use the items in the toolkits with their child. The videos are accessible by a QR code included in each toolkit and are available in English and Spanish.”

Toolkit distribution drive-up events are scheduled this spring and determined by each individual school that received a grant. This ensures that young learners and their families can use the toolkits in the months leading up to the start of the school year.

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

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