Smart from the Start has developed an ecological approach to promoting school readiness. We realize that children cannot be served in isolation from their families, and families cannot be served in isolation from their communities. Therefore we are working to promote change simultaneously on all three levels –with children, families and within communities.
Programming for children birth to five has been designed to equip low-income children entering school with the cognitive, language, physical, and social/emotional assets that facilitate school and life success. Programs include curriculum-based play-to-learn and socialization groups, field trips, language and literacy activities, basic math skills, along with many other fun, innovative early learning programs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Smart from the Start has served over 2,000 children ages birth to five.
Smart addresses the needs of every member of the family. Recognizing and building on the strengths of families enables us to nurture strong and trusting relationships in a way that other service providers have not. Adult caregivers have access to crisis intervention and family stabilization services and are encouraged to set long and short-term goals to improve their economic status and to overcome social challenges. Smart provides services to every member of the family. Smart from the Start offers ESOL, GED and financial literacy/career planning and computer classes for adult caregivers. We also facilitate prenatal, baby basics, family leadership programs and parenting classes. School aged siblings are offered tutoring and homework help, along with programming provided by Girl Scouts, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and other partner organizations. Referrals are made for additional support services as deemed necessary.
Our community-based work is designed to improve access and utilization of existing community services while working closely with partner agencies to ensure the highest quality services in the community. The Smart model works to engage and enlist the support of both formal and informal stakeholders, business proprietors, and other community support agencies.
For a full list of program descriptions, click here: Program descriptions