Ready! is the culmination of a community-wide visioning and strategic planning process led by the Middletown Community Foundation over a three-year period involving several experts in the field and representation from local early childhood education practitioners, our region’s major employers, our area school districts, and community leaders. Nearly 100 people volunteered their time, donating more than 7,000 man-hours of service to research the problems facing our local education system, identify research-based national best practices that have worked elsewhere, and determine which are best tailored for our local families.
Recognizing that our existing philanthropic endowments were not substantial enough to fund the necessary programs to enact such a significant change in local student performance, the Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees agreed to launch a campaign to raise several million dollars specifically for the initiatives identified by our task forces and committees. This will fund them for a five-year period, during which we will work with our agency partners performing these services for the community on sustainability plans to continue the programs after our five-year commitment expires. This marks our first major fundraising campaign since the original 1986 Founding Donors campaign to endow the Middletown Community Foundation.
Together we can, and must, rise to meet this challenge to instill in our children the desire and capacity to become what they aspire to be and so that they may use the gifts that our Creator has bestowed upon them to their fullest potential. As noted educator Allan Bloom said: “Education is the movement from darkness to light.” It is in our collective power to help create a brighter future for this generation of children. None of this is possible without you, our donors, making financial contributions to fund these interventions. As we are spending all funds raised over a five-year period, pledges may likewise be paid over a five-year period. The final scope of the program will be dependent upon how much funding is raised in that time. With your support and active involvement, we will build a stronger community and a stronger future one child at a time.