Ready Schools Initiative …

… ready schools improve the performance of ready children …

The Forsyth County Ready Schools Initiative (RSI) is a collaboration of Smart Start of Forsyth County, Inc., the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (KBR). Initially funded in 2009 by a seed grant from the Kellogg Foundation to Smart Start-FC, the RSI works to ensure that all elementary schools in Forsyth County are ready for all children.

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Former WXII news anchor, Robin Richards, organizational consultant, and Ready Schools Initiative Co Convener Susan Choplin, preparing for the RSI’s May 2013 strategic planning session funded by SSFC.

A Ready Schools framework moves the focus from readiness as a burden on children’s shoulders to a responsibility of schools and communities to prepare for the children and their needs. A Ready Schools framework engages community members, administrators, teachers, physicians, and health care providers, child care and early education providers, and families to reach concrete, identified goals related to facilities, curricula, and the commitment of educational leaders. Current programs include: school-based RSTeams whose members evaluate their school’s readiness for students, and the RSI’s Ready Classrooms professional development program for Pre-K and K teachers.

Most elementary schools are not specifically evaluating their readiness for students and families. Many schools in Forsyth County are implementing practices which do aid in their readiness; however most buildings are not engaging the readiness opportunity systematically. The RSI Teams provide leadership, information, and support to help parents, educators, and administrators elevate Ready Schools practices in our community.

Through a KBR-funded collaboration with the Frank Porter Graham Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Ready Classrooms program provides teachers in Forsyth County a data snapshot about interactions and behaviors in their classrooms. With these data, educators are able to see specific ways to improve their practices. In addition, preschool and kindergarten classroom teachers have a forum within which to discuss the needs of and best practices for our youngest and most vulnerable learners.

The RSI is in the process of seeking funds to support a professional position within W-S/FC Schools to support the work of our community Ready Schools Initiative.

Forsyth County Ready Schools Initiative Team

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From left: Eva Phillips, Lee Koch, Susan Choplin, Vanessa Sawyer-Wilson, and Paula Gruggs, and Lisa Moore, some of the members of the RSI Team during May 2013 strategic planning sessoin.

Co Conveners
Larry Vellani
Executive Director
SSFC, Inc.

Susan Choplin
K Teacher
Walkertown Elementary

Team Members
Angela Choplin
Principal
Lewisville Elementary

Betty West
Manager, Imprints Cares
Imprints for Children, Inc.

Brian Kennedy  
Regional Manager
Kaplan Company, Inc.

Brooke Hough  
PreK Teacher
Diggs-Latham Elementary

Donna Cannon  
Principal
Diggs-Latham Elementary

Eva Phillips 
Associate Professor of Education
WSSU

Janie Costello  
PreK-5 Literacy Programs; Co Chair, NC Pre-K Committee, and
Member, SSFC board of directors
WSFCS

Joe Crocker
Director, Poor & Needy Division
KBR

Judy Hoskins
After School Programs
Work Family Resource Center, Inc.

Katura Jackson 
Executive Director, Work Family Resource Center, Inc., and
Member, SSFC board of directors

Lee Koch
Principal
Ibraham Elementary

Leigh Anna Voigt
PreK Teacher
Forest Park Elementary

Lisa Moore
Regional Manager
Hatch, Inc.

Lisa O Brien
PreK Teacher
Diggs-Latham Elementary

Lori Fuller
Director, Research & Learning, and
Member, SSFC board of directors
KBR

Monica Rivers
Owner & Principal Partner
Corbitt Rivers Consulting, LLC

Neil Raymer
Principal
Meadowlark

Sandra Gilmer
Principal
Special Children”™s School

Shakila Faqih
K Teacher
Diggs-Latham Elementary

Sharon Ritchie 
FirstSchool Director
Frank Porter Graham Center, UNC-CH

Steve Oates  
Elementary Assistant Superintendent
WSFCS

Suzanne Wuwert
K Teacher
Lewisville Elementary

Teressa Beam  
PreK Teacher

Vanessa Osborne
WSFCS

Vanessa Sawyer-Wilson
Coordinator, Teaching & Learning
SSFC, Inc.