Investing in quality early childhood education opportunities and school readiness for all children in Fairfax County.
Fairfax Futures' mission is to ensure that our county's youngest children are well prepared to succeed in school and in life.
Our primary goal is to help create a sustainable and replicable model for a child’s success in school and life which starts by ensuring children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed, regardless of socio-economic status. In collaboration with partners across the county, we invest in early childhood education and school readiness by bringing attention and financial resources to sustain our region’s future.
Fairfax County contains 32 elementary schools where an average of 70% of children receive free or reduced lunch, the single largest indicator used to identify families at risk and living in poverty. It is our goal to reach these families and bring together educators and administrators from the child care community, preschools, FCPS elementary schools in those neighborhoods, as well as representatives from local government agencies and other community and faith-based organizations to identify the needs of families in these communities and develop the relationships needed to effectively support children and their families as they transition into school.
Ensuring that children start school ready to succeed requires that attention be paid to one of the most complex and significant changes they will experience – their transition to kindergarten*. When reliable connections are developed between family, preschool, school and the broader community, children can journey to and from each environment buoyed by an effective system designed to meet their unique developmental needs. These connections are the essence of kindergarten transition planning and help pave the way for children to experience success in school and in life. The more that can be done to ensure quality early learning experiences and communication between all those who support young children’s healthy social, emotional, intellectual and physical development, the smoother children’s transition will be.
All families, regardless of social, economic or cultural differences, will be better able to achieve success in school and life, when resources are available and partnerships between schools and families are established early. When families, schools and communities are prepared for this first transition into the public school setting, they are better able to continue to support future transitions through children’s educational careers as well as potential ones in their home.
In the spirit of the Harlem Children’s Zone model, this program focuses on community connections and collaboration to engage families in their children’s education. Families, whose children are at greater risk for school failure due to financial barriers, will be better able to address the early education needs of their children, as well as support the multiple transitions within their school career and beyond.
*Bohan-Baker, M. & Little, P.M. (2004). The Transition to Kindergarten: A Review of Current Research and Promising Practices to Involve Families. Harvard Family Research Project.)