Great Expectations

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust’s Great Expectations initiative is investing between $30 and $40 million over 10 to 15 years. We’re working to ensure that children in Forsyth County reach developmentally-appropriate milestones in the first five years, enter kindergarten ready to learn, and leave set for success in school and life.

When children start school ready to learn, they are more likely to succeed in school and beyond. According to the 2015 President’s Report on The Economics of Early Childhood Investments, every dollar spent on early childhood initiatives provides over eight dollars in benefits back to the children themselves and to society. Studies consistently show that investments in high-quality early childhood development pay off in terms of increased high school graduation rates, higher earnings, greater job security, and fewer encounters with the justice system. Yet, in Forsyth County, almost half of all children enter kindergarten each year at risk of falling behind their peers in reading. The fact that 36 percent of our children (over 8,000) between ages zero to four live below the poverty line, makes it harder for them to succeed academically. Despite well-intentioned efforts on all our parts, we have not made fundamental progress.

That’s why the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust is investing in a new way of working. Through Great Expectations, we’re listening to parents, aligning good efforts, and investing in best practices. We believe this will improve educational outcomes, foster equity, and help every child—and ultimately our entire county—succeed.

A list of our most up to date Great Expectations investments can be found here.

Visit our Great Expectations website.

Read about our progress over the past year!


We’re investing resources over the next 10-15 years in Great Expectations, so that financially-disadvantaged children living in Forsyth County between the ages of zero and six will be able to:

> Reach age-appropriate developmental milestones from birth to entry into 1st grade
> Enter kindergarten healthy and ready to learn
> Graduate from kindergarten healthy and with the knowledge, skills and behaviors expected for success in 1st grade


Great Expectations will require a long-term, comprehensive effort. To help ensure our success, the Trust will:

> forge partnerships with many key stakeholders, including families, providers, organizations and systems to achieve our shared goals.
> work with two, or even three, generations at once to ensure that parents and/or grandparent caregivers are better able to provide a healthy and nurturing environment for their young children.
> work with MDC, our “Activating Agency,” to coordinate and support the many partners and activities of Great Expectations.


Great Expectations currently focuses on five core priorities:

> Improvements in Child and Family Health
> Improvements in Self-Regulation and Executive Function among Children and Adults
> Improvements in Parent-Child Interactions and Adult Caregiving Capacity
> Supports for Children’s Oral Language and Vocabulary Development
> Building the Capacity of Parents, Providers, Communities, and Systems that Serve Young Children and Families

The Activation Plan for Great Expectations can be found here.

If you have any questions or want to discuss ways to get involved with Great Expectations, please contact our Forsyth County Director, Joe Crocker at 336-397-5503, or via email,