SPECIAL INITIATIVE: Great Expectations
Working Together so Children Thrive
Great Expectations works to ensure that children in Forsyth County enter kindergarten ready to learn and leave set for success in school and life.
Why early childhood?
When children thrive, we all thrive.
Research shows that every dollar spent on early childhood initiatives provides over eight dollars in benefits back to society. However, nearly half of the children entering school in Forsyth County are at risk of falling behind their peers in reading. Fewer Latino students are reading at grade level than in other parts of North Carolina.
Poverty has a lasting impact on our youngest residents.
While Forsyth County boasts a growing economy, approximately 36 percent of Forsyth County children are experiencing poverty. Research shows that living in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood is equal to missing one year of school.
We work to achieve equitable and sustainable access to opportunity.
We invest in equitable opportunities to improve educational and health outcomes for all young children and their families.
We collaborate to tackle tough issues.
We work in a connected way with nonprofits, parents, and caregivers. We provide technical assistance so organizations can work collaboratively with the families they serve.
We listen and learn together.
Parents told us that they want to support their children’s learning at home and be leaders in their educational success. They’ve requested more information about health and education services and report that existing services are not aligned.
We build capacity.
We partner with the community to build the capacity of new leaders, deepen relationships, and improve local, county, and state policies to support thriving communities and a healthier state.
We invest in long-term change.
We work holistically to foster sustainable systems change. We review data, consider community context, gather input from experts, support the development and implementation of strategies, and continually monitor progress.
Support family success by building an inclusive economy.
What we know: To help young children in Forsyth County thrive, we have to help families thrive. Forsyth County ranks as the second worst out of 2,478 counties nationally for economic mobility for children born into poverty, and this impacts how well they succeed in school.
What we do: Working with our Local Impact program, we’re exploring ways to build the local will for economic mobility, advance opportunities for families with low incomes, improve opportunities for youth ages 16 to 24 who are not connected to work or school, and improve the safety net.
Updates and Reports
Forsyth Family Voices
A community engagement initiative that trained service providers to interview parents and caregivers (largely low-income and of color) about families’ strengths and what they need to help their children succeed.
Early Childhood Service System Analysis
Conducted in partnership with Forsyth Futures, this research created a comprehensive map of services that impact early childhood development, to understand systems gaps and opportunities for alignment.
Family, Friend, and Neighbor Care Study
Surveyed parents and caregivers to learn more about informal childcare arrangements in Forsyth County, because only 34 percent of young children in the county are enrolled in licensed and regulated care.