Build a Brain,
Build a Life,
Build a Community.
Be a BLFLI Partner!
- 90% of a child’s brain development occurs during the first 5 years of life.
- BLFLI is based on solid research demonstrating that early childhood brain development and literacy efforts will produce a 7 – 13% annual return on improved outcomes in health, education, teen risk behaviors, crime, income and employment per child, which amounts to a $7 return on investment per every $1 spent (WEDC).
- Key Pillars in the community are committed to BLFLI’s mission and success (Health Systems-Beloit and Community, City Government, School Districts, Chamber of Commerce, Stateline Community Foundation, Library, Non-profit and Faith Based Organizations.
- Key Partners include a variety of local nonprofits such as churches, agencies, childcare facilities as well as NAACP, Latino Service Providers Coalition, Beloit College, businesses, foundations, and are the CORE for reaching families.
- Assessment, transparency, and our programmatic efforts will be informed by nationally known experts on early childhood brain development and literacy.
- Built positive relationships with over 40 organizations in the Beloit area and key support from our Pillars.
- Re-established REACH OUT AND READ Program and facilitated the addition of a video on literacy & brain development at Beloit Health System to be shown to every mother and family prior to departing the hospital.
- Published updates and stories thanks to the Beloit Daily News.
- Received a proclamation of support for the Initiative from the City of Beloit.
- Installed a popular bookcase for families in City Hall.
- Put up billboards in key city locations both in Spanish and English with the tag line: Build a Brain, Build a Life, Build a Community.
- Developed and are currently distributing “Brain Bags” to new mothers via partnering organizations with key information, book, toys and materials about the importance of early childhood literacy and brain development.
- Opened Little Kids Libraries at community fire stations.
- Obtained business support, especially Culver’s, for events that include reading to kids by community celebrities and first responders.
- Received support from the library for bimonthly meetings and events.
- Created a diverse library located at the Stateline Community Foundation where NPO’s can request books for distribution at their events.
- Distributed over 13,000 books to kids and families in Beloit.
- Developed an email listserv with over 200 engaged subscribers for BLFLI program meetings and updates.
- Held 2 re-energizing events for all Pillars and Partners at ABC Supply Stadium to kick start efforts following COVID-19 isolation.
- Supported a Bookmobile in summer of 2021 that travelled to various community locations for reading stories and book distribution, thanks to grants from UW-Madison, Stateline Community Foundation and support from the Beloit School District for Gloria Heiss, Project Coordinator.
The Future Depends On What‘s In Our Kid’s Heads
May 24, 2022
Beloit Daily News
“It was my good fortune last week to attend the Beloit Literacy for Life Initiative’s 2022 Recognition Luncheon. Like everything else, the pandemic interrupted the group’s annual gathering the past couple of years so, technically, this was only the second annual banquet. There should be many more in the future. The entire community ought to be behind this effort. Yes, it’s that important.”
In The Works
- Collaborating with PBS-Wisconsin and other community interests on project “Ready to Learn”.
- Presenting to various community literacy stakeholders.
- Continuing our annual awards luncheon to recognize individuals and organizations for extraordinary efforts in promoting early childhood literacy and brain development.
- Collaborating with the Beloit Stadium Authority on an early childhood literacy motif in the new stadium where kids and parents can “read the stadium”.
- Including the Beloit Literacy for Life Initiative in the Stateline Community Foundation’s Capital Campaign.
- Reaching the Latino Community with translated advocacy materials.
- Collaborating with Quint Studer (Studer Community Institute) and Dr. Ron Ferguson (Harvard University) of The Basics. We will be hiring a full-time position to work with nonprofit partners in implementing a brain development texting program for parents of children, birth – age 3.
• Create traditions around literacy and learning
• Support families
• Influence organizations
• Influence Beloit
• Build traditions for literacy and learning
Possible suggestions for engagement
- Empower families for literacy & language
- “Talking is teaching” messaging
- “Reading to your kids” messaging
- Books in the hands of kids and families
- Environmental signs in stores and around the community to promote talking
- Community infrastructure – Playground talking structures, billboards, and bus stops
- Volunteer for literacy programs
- Sponsor one of Beloit’s Little Little Free Libraries
- Employee wellness programs for literacy and language development
Read Aloud 15 minutes
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Talking is Teaching
From the Too Small to Fail Foundation. Downloaded materials are free and can be taken to any printer. Please sign up on the website to have access to all of the “Talking is Teaching Communities” exclusives.
Want To Support Our Grassroots Effort?
Executive Advisor Emeritus to the President, Beloit College
Stateline Community Foundation
Early Literacy Director
School District of Beloit
For General Information : Please contact Jamie Gurholt at firstname.lastname@example.org / SCF Office: 608.362-4228