United Way of Summit County expands funds for ASIA on Early Childhood Education for Refugee Families


April 3, 2014
Please contact: Kimlee Sureemee | Communications & Policy Assistant | kimlee.sur@asiaohio.org | 330-535-3263 x 224

United Way of Summit County expands funds for ASIA on Early Childhood Education for Refugee Families

Akron, Ohio – The United Way of Summit County recently awarded $37,700 to Asian Services In Action, Inc. (ASIA) to expand its READY (Readiness through Expanded Acculturation Development of Immigrant/Refugee Youth) Program. The READY Program supports the City of Akron’s young refugee children (ages 0-4) to become kindergarten ready. The Program achieves this by conducting classes and activities that are culturally and linguistically specific for young children and their caregivers.

Many newly arriving refugee communities come from developing countries with varying qualities of education system. Caregivers may not be aware of the critical importance of strong parent/caregiver involvement in the early key developmental stages of a child’s life. The READY program will serve approximately 24 families mainly from the Nepalese, Mon, Burmese and Karen communities (refugees from Myanmar who are considered a “high need” emerging population in Summit County). The Program uses the Foundational Model from Parents as Teachers National Center Inc. program, an evidence-based curriculum that has been used in bilingual/bicultural settings across the country. The national model has been used extensively with good success by other bilingual/bicultural early childhood programs (it is also currently used by the State of Ohio’s Help Me Grow Program for early childhood development).

With support from the United Way of Summit County, The READY Program will conduct home visits and group meetings with the Parent Educator and interpreters from the community to empower and train caregivers to help maximize their children’s development. The curriculum stresses the need for a high level of attachment between the parent and child in order to improve the child’s opportunity for learning at the early stages of life. This prepares the child to be ready and productive in school. Additionally, It helps parents to overcome barriers of a new culture, language and social integration aiding in their children’s development. The READY Program is aligned with the Summit County Cradle to Career Alliance and is participating, along with many other preschool and early care providers, in not only implementing evidence-based practices, but also in the collection of data and assessments that feed into Summit Education Initiative to inform the entire community about “ready for success” outcomes.


Asian Services In Action
Founded in 1995, Asian Services In Action’s mission is to empower and advocate for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders (AAPIs); and to provide AAPIs access to quality, culturally, and linguistically appropriate information and services. Visit www.asiaohio.org to learn more. Follow ASIA on Facebook and Twitter!

United Way of Summit County
United Way of Summit County advances the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. Our focus is on Education, Income and Health, because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life. We train a spotlight on critical issues, engage with private and public sector leaders and coordinate agendas with partners to leverage Collective Impact. We invite everyone to be part of the change by giving, advocating and volunteering. When we work together in common purpose, we LIVE UNITED. For more information about United Way of Summit County visit uwsummit.org.