A 2016 Noah’s Ark Preschool student was all smiles from benefiting from the Harrison County Community Foundation’s Jump Start preschool program.
Giving children high-quality educational experiences in their early years is vital. According to “Early Care and Education: The Economic Case,” the majority of brain growth occurs in a child’s first five years of life, and that key time period cannot be replaced. Yet ironically, the least amount of public resources is applied to children during that time.
Children who participate in preschool are more likely to start kindergarten at the same level as their peers and have appropriate motor skills, social adaptation abilities and basic knowledge. Students who complete preschool are less likely to need special education or remediation services. Down the road, these children will be less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, have babies while teenagers, or be incarcerated.
The Harrison County Community Foundation (HCCF) recognizes the need for change and has stepped up to address the problem in multiple ways.
HCCF is funding Jump Start, a pilot program that provides free, quality full-day preschool for income-eligible children in Harrison County. In many cases, these preschool students begin the school year far behind their peers in age-appropriate development.
Studies conducted by the IU Southeast Applied Research and Education Center using the ISTAR-KR (state-approved Kindergarten Readiness) assessment demonstrate some preschool students in the Jump Start program began the 2017-18 school year with development levels of less than a 25-month-old, so they were two years or more behind their peers.
Using the same assessment, at the end of the school year the students’ reading and language development demonstrated an increase to within normal developmental range. This shows that with continued work, children in the Jump Start program can be completely on par with other students and ready for kindergarten.
Eligibility for Jump Start is based on the student’s age and family income. Children entering the program need to be 4 years old by Aug. 1 and have a family income at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
Preschool providers participating in Jump Start include: Corydon, Heth-Washington, and South Central Elementary Schools; Blue River Services, which provides preschool at Morgan and North Harrison Elementary Schools and Corydon Rainbow’s End; and St. John’s Lutheran School, St. Joseph Catholic School and Unity Chapel’s Noah’s Ark.
HCCF is also the sponsoring agency in Harrison County for an additional preschool program, On My Way Pre-K (OMWPK). OMWPK is funded by Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration. Families are eligible for this program when their 4-year-olds live in a household at or below 127 percent of the FPL and have parents or guardians who are working or attending school.
Harrison County Community Foundation (HCCF) COVID-19 Relief Fund
The Harrison County Community Foundation (HCCF) is committed to being a resource to help address the needs as they arise in our community resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak. The
HCCF COVID-19 Relief Fund will provide flexible resources to our nonprofit organizations serving Harrison County residents as they address immediate and long-term needs. HCCF will serve as a
partner in the effort.
If you would like to join us in helping meet the need, you are invited to make a gift to the HCCF COVID-19 Relief Fund. Gifts may be made online at hccfindiana.org or by mailing a
check to HCCF, PO Box 279, Corydon, IN 47112. Make checks payable to HCCF with "COVID-19 Relief Fund" noted.
The Harrison County Community Foundation is a public foundation supported by donations from individuals and businesses. Its mission is to inspire and assist everyone to experience
philanthropy, producing positive and sustainable growth in Harrison County.