Currently, 70% of students entering kindergarten are not enrolled in licensed child care for a wide variety of reasons that include the high cost of childcare and transportation barriers, and more than 80% of kindergarteners tested below benchmark levels in literacy at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.
More than half of the Henderson County students qualify for the free-and-reduced meals program and in Henderson County, 18.1% of children live in poverty which can be one of the greatest threats to the success of a child. Children from low-income families hear 30 million fewer words be age 3, placing them at an instant disadvantage when they begin kindergarten as compared to more affluent peers.
In Henderson County, in January of 2022, 145 children were in DSS custody for child abuse/neglect, and there were 234 children in DSS custody for the 2021 calendar year. The incidence of child abuse and neglect is reduced when protective factors like parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of need, knowledge of parenting and child development, and social and emotional competence of children are strengthened, and risk factors (such as poverty, social isolation, absence of supportive adults, and violence in the home or neighborhood) are mitigated.

The GLO mobile reaches children under the age of five who are not in structured care and enhances and support their learning by creating fun and interactive high-quality experiences to prepare them for kindergarten. The GLO mobile also offers parents an opportunity to learn more about how they can support their child’s learning and offers connections to other parents, resources, and support.

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The GLO Mobile supports and enhances kindergarten readiness and transition activities in the Henderson County community. Our early learning outreach bus aims to remove barriers such as transportation, availability of care, and expenses that often keep children out of a preschool setting and will allow parents to access the necessary support for their children to begin kindergarten ready to learn. The mobile unit enhances kindergarten readiness and transition activities in Hendersonville removing barriers such as transportation, availability of care, and expenses that often keep children out of a preschool setting and will allow parents to access the necessary support for their children to begin kindergarten ready to learn.

The mobile unit is intended to be a vehicle for outreach into our community to engage children ages birth through 5, not in licensed child care centers. We know the earliest days of a child’s life can be one of the most important indicators of future success and by bringing quality early childhood experiences into neighborhoods with barriers like transportation, primary language, and limited income, we hope to build the child’s foundation for future learning. It is our goal to assist these caregivers in becoming their child’s first educator, empowering them to be the support their children need to start kindergarten prepared.

The GLO Mobile visits areas of the community furthest from child care centers that may have issues with transportation. These visits help engage children and caregivers to create positive connections with other families, provide developmentally appropriate activities for the caregiver and child to do together, and connect families to resources.

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A site for state-of-the-art screenings for vision, hearing, and developmental delays to prepare children for kindergarten through early detection of potential deficiencies. 

PREP program

A library with age-appropriate books.

Coordinated activities and kits utilizing the evidence-based Parents as Teachers curriculum that will provide parents with the tools to support their children’s development using household items. These activities will support the development of fine motor skills needed in the kindergarten classroom.

Opportunities to connect with the other children and parents, nurturing the social and emotional developmental skills needed to regulate emotions and feelings in a classroom setting.

An opportunity to unlock educational equity across different geographic and socio-economic areas of Henderson County, leveling the playing field for all students to be prepared for kindergarten.

Coordinated schedule with access to community resources such as food pantries, diapers and formula, health and dental care, and mental health.

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For nearly 25 years, Children and Family Resource Center has been caring for children and families in Henderson County. The founding leadership understood that to improve the lives of Henderson County children, the community needed to simplify access to children’s services and provide programming that focused on improving the quality of childcare and the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Thanks to the Dogwood Health Trust and the Community Foundations of Henderson County, we received initial funding to get the GLO Mobile on the road. Now we need to upfit the mobile unit, stock it with materials and supplies, create the library, add curriculum, staff it, and establish a fund for fuel.

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