Smart Beginnings (SBS) was founded in
2010 and is one of 29 coalitions in Virginia who are trying to improve the care and education of preschool children. SBS
is funded in part by the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and also receives some private and some public funds. SBS
covers Planning District 13: the Virginia counties of Brunswick, Halifax and Mecklenburg.
the building process
is in the process of building a system of parents, agencies/organizations and businesses that work with preschoolers and their
families to improve early childhood.
SBS has completed a community needs
assessment and is finalizing a long-term strategic plan. A Leadership Council and a Coalition Team have been
established. We have partnered with the school systems and higher education institutes, the libraries, community service
board, social services, Head Start, health providers, the YMCA, the cooperative extension service, United Way, and others.
The foundation that SBS is building will help ensure Southside's children
have the skills needed for 21st century jobs. Ready for school—Ready for life.
plans for the future
SBS has chosen three (3) focus areas to develop:
Most of the preschoolers in Southside Virginia do not attend preschools—many are cared for by babysitters or family
ACTION: SBS will look at what educational programs
are available and how they can be expanded to improve childhood care skills.
18 to 20% of all children are born to mothers with less than 12th grade education in Southside Virginia.
ACTION: SBS will study current informational resources
and advise how to better use those resources. Example: Assign a centralized place (web site, local stores) to
post information that parents can use.
FACT: Some of
Southside Virginia's preschool children are not getting good nutrition and are not being immunized properly.
ACTION: SBS will examine what health care resources are available and how to
better use those resources.
SBS is committed to improving the care
and education of preschool children which will not only improve the children's kindergarten performance but it has been show
that investing in a child's early childhood development yields tremendous economic and social benefits. Ready for school—Ready