This post originally appeared on Mary Black Foundation's Blog, written by Beth Thompson.
Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM), together with the Mary Black Foundation, proudly introduced the first Collaborative Action Network (CAN), the Kindergarten Success CAN, at an orientation held January 8, 2015. The launch of the Kindergarten Success CAN is the first step to a path of unchartered territory and enormous potential for Spartanburg County.
Unlike groups that have convened in the past, even with great results and especially good intentions, the Kindergarten Success CAN offers the opportunity for a many different early childhood development organizations to come together around the common goal of having ALL Spartanburg County children prepared to be successful at the very start of their education journey. The Kindergarten Success CAN is not a group collaborating on a new project, grant request, or even simply discussing the complex issue of kindergarten readiness. Instead, it is a group of committed organizations, including public schools, child care centers, community based organizations and programs, libraries, and other agencies, committed to improving their own programs and taking collective action so that the children of Spartanburg are supported during their earliest years.
The Kindergarten Success CAN will now begin meeting regularly to develop and implement a shared action plan. Using local data, the Kindergarten Success CAN will uncover ways that all programs can continuously improve their effectiveness on school readiness and also to identify opportunities to work together toward the common goal. Even though “collective impact” is a rather new concept for tackling complex social concerns, Kindergarten Success as the first CAN within the SAM framework is an exceptional place to start especially because of the leadership of the Mary Black Foundation in the area of early learning and a growing commitment and understanding of early childhood development locally, state-wide, and nationally.
Stay tuned…you are sure to hear about great things that are already happening to prepare children for kindergarten in Spartanburg and the great things that are in store from an amazing group of committed organizations as we go through this process together.