Boyle, Danville schools get $90K to improve kindergarten readiness

Published 7:01 pm Monday, July 29, 2019


Danville/Boyle Early Childhood Alliance

Boyle County and Danville Independent public school systems have each been awarded $45,000 grants by the Kentucky Governor’s Office of Early Childhood (GOEC) for improving kindergarten readiness. The two school systems partnered together to create initiatives and bring attention to the much-needed focus on early childhood development in this county.

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With a focus on improving care and education for all children birth to 5-years-old, the school systems have collaborated, taking care not to overlap or duplicate their efforts, and were awarded the maximum possible amount.

The school systems’ grants touch on different areas of early childhood development in order to maximize effectiveness. Boyle County Schools’ Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer David Young said both systems are “working to improve kindergarten readiness for all of our kids.”

Danville Independent Schools’ early childhood quality improvement grant involves three main areas. The biggest piece, said Sheri Satterly, assistant superintendent for Danville Schools, is family and community engagement. This focus will better prepare children age birth to 5 for their transition into preschool and/or kindergarten.

Danville Schools hopes to provide families with learning resources in a variety of ways including opportunities to attend school functions to interact with the school environment, participate in early learning activities, and receive resources to help them prepare their child for preschool, kindergarten and beyond. Initiatives include community baby showers, little lending libraries in all Danville schools and early learning lending trees that will be located in grocery stores, laundromats, doctor’s offices and other public spaces easily accessible to young families.

Also, early childhood instruction materials will be available at local childbirth classes and through the HANDS Program, a weekly home visitation program provided by Boyle County Health Department.

Danville Schools have also arranged for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to offer subscriptions to all 160 students enrolled in their pre-school this year. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a free program that mails books to children from birth to age five in participating communities. Additional supplemental activities will take place at Toddler Story Time at the Boyle County Public Library and through other local children-focused events.

The two other overarching focus areas in Danville’s grant include social emotional learning, and screening and assessment.  Social emotional learning will be developed through Second Steps program where children become more aware of their social and emotional skills and childcare providers are trained to better provide support and interventions to support this growth. Training will be provided on how to help children who have had Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which can affect their developmental progress in substantial ways. 

Screening and assessment will largely be conducted through the Brigance tool, which assesses skills that lead to school success and highlight any development difficulties that may exist.

Boyle County Schools’ grant focuses on family and community engagement as well but in a different way. 

Boyle aims to increase community awareness of the accessibility of public preschool and to empower families to engage in school readiness activities at home.

To do this, Boyle County is putting on the inaugural “First Five Fair” at the Boyle County Public Library on Saturday, Aug. 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. where there will be many free activities and engaging resources to families with children, birth to five. Screenings to determine if 3- and 4-year-old children qualify for public preschool will be available onsite, as will screenings for Head Start.

Over half of Boyle County’s grant encompasses professional development and training of local childcare centers in order to provide more tools for success within their facilities. Trainings will be conducted on Brigance screening and Creative Curriculum, a research-based early learning curriculum.  Additionally, coaches from Child Care Aware, an organization focused on improving childcare quality, will routinely check in with providers, helping to find successful ways to incorporate new strategies into their specific environment.

Classroom and instructional quality mark the third focus area for Boyle County’s grant. Ongoing support will be critical to helping childcare centers improve and earn higher star ratings within the Kentucky All STARS system, a quality rating and improvement framework for childcare centers, in-home daycare, and other licensed facilities. 

Boyle County wants to create a strong network of early childhood and education providers so it will hold monthly meetings called “Early Childhood Leadership Academies.” They will be after hours and rotate around all interested licensed centers or preschools so that providers can gain insight and share best practices.

For more information about early childhood efforts in this community, visit or email


The Boyle County Community Early Childhood Council is having a “First Five Fair” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 3 at the Boyle County Public Library for children ages birth to 5 years old and their families.

The free event will include on-site pre-kindergarten screenings for children who will be attending kindergarten when school opens, and free vouchers for school supplies will be given.

There will also be themed activities, music, face painting and puppies to pat at the fair. Snacks and snow cones will be provided for the children and they can have their photo taken with Paw Patrol.

Other sponsors of the First Five Fair include the Boyle County and Danville school systems, Danville/Boyle Early Childhood Alliance and KET Education.