District Five Ready by Five program receives national recognition

Lexington-Richland School District Five’s Ready by Five program has been honored for achieving model fidelity for the 2019-2020 program year by the national office of Parents as Teachers and the South Carolina office of First Steps.

In earning the national award, the district had to meet 20 essential criteria for its data collection. School District Five’s Ready by Five program helps children birth to age five be ready for school through home visits, community activities, screenings and other resources.

“Even during these challenging times, School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties Ready by Five Program is making strides to address the kindergarten readiness gap for children,” School District Five Coordinator of Family Literacy, Parenting and Social Work Services Jennifer Felkel said. “The data proves that home visitation and partnering with our parents in their child’s earliest years can have positive effects that last for the rest of their lives. Our Family Educators have found a way to stay connected through virtual home visits as they provide essential early learning opportunities during the pandemic”

Parents as Teachers is a national, evidence-based home visitation model designed to ensure young children are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. Services are delivered by model-certified parent educators who emphasize parent-child interaction, development centered parenting and family well-being. First Steps has served as the lead agency for Parents as Teachers in South Carolina since 2011.