The Orchard Foundation's focus on School Readiness seeks to ensure more children are ready to enter kindergarten. Studies show children who attend some type of early childhood program before kindergarten are more likely to complete high school and go through their entire school careers without repeating a grade.
Research in the area of school readiness shows that the most effective strategies are those that focus on improving the quality of already existing early education settings. Additionally, high-quality teacher-child interactions, including how engaging teachers are, how organized teachers are, and how well teachers build on concepts and make connections are essential for children's learning and developing.
The Orchard Foundation works with school districts, other early childhood providers and community organizations to provide professional development training to build the capacity and quality of Pre-K, Head Start and childcare providers in the region. Orchard also coordinates its early literacy program, Read to Soar, for children ages birth to five years old and their parents or caregivers.