In our world, potential is equally distributed. Opportunity and access are not.
As a result, vast human potential is lost, beginning in childhood from ages zero to four. The only thing worse than this is when we don’t act to change it.
We believe that to do this we must increase opportunity for learning at the most critical period of human development. This means that parents, teachers and caregivers must have access to the tools and methods that will ensure a strong foundational education for children of ages 0-4.
The stresses of poverty, social injustice, and emotional challenges present barriers to the bright future that every child needs and deserves. Washtenaw Promise works with children, young families, schools and the community, to remove barriers and to encourage learning in two critical areas; early literacy skills and “STEAM” education. Simply put, when children are given the foundation for learning and the opportunities to develop skills and attributes for the world they are about to inherit, the human spirit soars.
What are we doing about it?
Learn more below about our programs and partners and how you can get involved.
When families struggle with low income, fewer opportunities, and a lack of resources, the bright future that every child needs and deserves is compromised. Washtenaw Promise works with very young children and families, schools, and the community, to encourage learning during the most critical period of human development—ages 2-6— in two critical areas; early literacy skills and “STEAM” education. When children are given the foundations for learning at a young age, and the opportunities to develop skills for the world they are about to inherit, the human spirit soars.
Building Strong Literacy Foundations
Strong literacy skills—having the ability to read, write and communicate effectively—is perhaps the single most important factor which determines success in life. The hard reality is that today, many children are not learning to read and write in time to be successful, to keep every door open to them. And it is all about the timing. Early brain development proceeds with or without strong foundations of literacy. It is up to us to provide our children with a rich experience in language; reading, writing, listening, speaking and communicating in ways that challenge the mind and body to learn, beginning at the pre-kindergarten level. For this reason we ask volunteers to join us in sharing reading and writing experiences with 4 and 5 year olds throughout our community.
The Woodlands at Bruin Lake
It is also critical that all children, from a very early age, experience the richness of the world around them and develop a deep appreciation and connection to the natural world. Curiosity, imagination and invention come naturally to children but we must provide them opportunities to explore, problem solve using their own creativity and work together to find new possibilities. When they have these experiences they are preparing not only for the world as it is, but even more importantly, for the limitless visions that live in their minds and hearts. For this reason we ask that you consider joining us in our own vision to create a STEAM educational center for children and their families, teachers and other educators, and their community, at our new 125 acre parcel of Michigan wilderness; The Woodlands at Bruin Lake.
Programs That Make A Difference
Learn more below about our other programs that support our mission.
Placing Volunteer Mentors; “Big Friends” in Preschools
In collaboration with public and private preschools, and other non-profits and advisors, we have built a unique preschool mentoring team of community volunteers who offer weekly support to children in need. Our trained mentors provide social and emotional support for children ages 3 and 4, and help connect their families with resources necessary to build a healthy foundation for lifelong learning. Join us as a volunteer! We welcome your participation in this program.
A Classroom Without Walls; New Opportunities for Students and Teachers
Our recent acquisition of a unique, 120 acre wilderness parcel on Bruin Lake in Washtenaw County, formerly a boy scout camp, has presented Washtenaw Promise with what can fairly be called a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are incredibly excited to meet the challenge of developing this resource as an exceptional education center for teachers, parents and children, particularly the very young children served by our mission.
Encouraging a Love for Reading
The pandemic has reinforced what we already knew; that kids don’t need more “screen time”, but the right kind of videos can be a great supplement for learning. We produce videos that inspire a love of books and reading and also offer teachers mini-lessons that can be used effectively in the classroom to increase interest in science, art, nutrition and many other topics.
Helping to Develop Early Literacy
Literacy; the ability to read, write, speak and listen in ways that let us communicate effectively and make sense of the world, is critical for every child’s success in school and in life. Washtenaw Promise helps kids increase their skills in all these areas when it is most important- before they enter school in Kindergarten.