Kindergarten Calendars Boost Early Learning

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United Way of Champaign County is pleased to announce our 2017-2018 Getting Ready for Kindergarten Calendar is now available! This year’s calendar features artwork from Champaign Public Library’s Mother Goose on the Loose program.

United Way’s Getting Ready for Kindergarten Calendar is a tool designed for families of 3, 4, and 5 year olds. It runs from September through August; similar to the school year. Each month focuses on a different topic with suggested daily activities based on Illinois Early Learning Standards and strategies developed by early learning experts. It also includes book suggestions and a list of local resources. United Way has published this calendar for the past 12 years.

Thanks to the sponsorship of the East Central Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council, United Way has printed 6,000 copies in English. A sponsorship from Kiwanis will allow us to print 500 copies in Spanish. The calendars are available FREE of charge. 

Beverley Baker, Director of Community Impact at United Way, oversees the calendar each year. “Preschoolers are constantly learning and growing! The Calendar is a great tool to help families read, talk and play together every day – the simple activities we do at home with our child can make the biggest difference. Years of research show that quality early childhood experiences translate into long-term success in school for our children.”

CU Early, at the Urbana School District, is one of many local early childhood programs which incorporate the calendar into their work.  “We give the Ready for Kindergarten calendars to all of our families annually as part of our Welcome packets.  Families have stated that they appreciate the quick, fun ideas they can incorporate in every day learning with their children. If families have older preschool siblings everyone can participate in the fun activities, which makes the calendar a very family friendly tool.  We also appreciate that the Calendar is available in English and Spanish.”

The Getting Ready for Kindergarten calendar directly addresses one of United Way’s Education goals: Children enter school ready and are successful in elementary school. On Monday, August 13, the Illinois State Board of Education released the results of the first-ever statewide survey of kindergarten preparedness. The results show that communities need to continue to support high-quality early learning programs for all students.

How to get a calendar

For Parents

Ask your childcare provider or local library for a copy! If they do not have copies, call United Way of Champaign County, 217-352-5151.

Digital copies are available for download here.

For Childcare Providers

Call United Way of Champaign County, 217-352-5151, to arrange pick-up or volunteer delivery. You may also contact Child Care Resource Service at the University of Illinois, 217-333-3252

For School Districts

Call United Way of Champaign County, 217-352-5151, to arrange pick-up or volunteer delivery.


Other School Readiness Work

The Getting Ready for Kindergarten Calendar is far from our only education program! United Way of Champaign County is working hard to boost school success in Champaign County.


Born Learning Trail 

A playful outdoor trail with guided activities that support early learning. Installed in 2017 at Colbert Park in Savoy and Beardsley Park in Champaign.


Mother Goose on the Loose

Early literacy partnership with Champaign Public Library, helping children 0-6 strengthen foundational reading skills.



Our information and referral specialists can help connect people with local education resources, including afterschool programming, GED/Higher education, developmental resources and more.


Community Impact Fund education grants

United Way has awarded $809,225 to 13 local programs demonstrating measurable outcomes in education.