Zero2Eight is a collaboration of several public agencies working together to help you get your child on the right track.

Here are our main focus work-groups.

Parent & Family Support

Schools & Communities

The goal for the Parent and Family Support Work-group is to help at‐risk families. These households are defined as families that are employed but are struggling to make ends meet, dysfunctional families, or families that lack informal support. There are many families in our community that make too much money to qualify for services, but don’t make enough to provide a comfortable living for their family. They are one problem away from living in crisis.

 

Our work-group identified the Befriend Mentoring program as an agency to help at‐risk families. A family that lacks an informal support system is matched with a mentor family recruited from a local church. Mentee referrals come from those who work with struggling, at‐risk families, or interested individuals. Both Mentor and Mentee families are interviewed and background checks are completed. Matches are sought connecting points of interests, hobbies, faith background, etc.

 

Another objective the group is researching is to bring a shared data system to our community. The goal of having shared data is to simplify the enrollment process for obtaining services and identify barriers to

help explain why a family continues to live in crisis.

 

A mentoring program or resource coordinator at the workplace has been identified to help at‐risk employees find needed resources. Employers know that personal issues become business issues when an employee faces problems at home. Productivity declines, absenteeism increases, causing problems for both the employer and the employee. A resource coordinator position can help us identify the needs and then find the resources to help solve problems for employees, allowing at‐risk individuals to keep their jobs and in turn support their families.

 

Anyone is welcome to join our work-group. We meet bi‐monthly, or as‐needed.

The School Community Committee works to ensure that children enter kindergarten with the skills necessary for school success and engage parents to become in involved in their children’s education through enrichment activities in partnership with local schools.

 

Our work-group organized and piloted Families and Schools Together (FAST) in area schools. FAST is aimed at helping children succeed by empowering parents and families, improving school and family relationships, and establishing community engagement. FAST is run by teams including parents, teachers, school representatives, and community professionals. Through the 8 week program, families

participate in group activities, one‐on‐one parent/child time, parent group, and child recreation. There is also a family meal and gift basket drawing. Our work-group is currently looking to partner with some local schools to participate in FAST.

 

School Community is always looking for ways to promote school readiness and welcomes any new members!

Child Care

The Child Care Committee works to increase Social/Emotional development while incorporating developmentally appropriate best practices between home, child care, and school. We strive to create an always growing relationship between child care providers and parents, promote quality childcare within the community, and support PLAY as the best practice for LEARNING in Early Childhood.

 

Childcare Committee has organized and supported "Play Their Way". With contributions from partners as well as the Child Care Committee for Zero to Eight we have successfully held two sessions of "Play Their Way". The first year was held in Columbus and the second year was held in Schuyler. "Play Their Way" was created to promote PLAY is LEARNING philosophy in early childhood education. Families and child care providers are welcome to participate in the event with their children. Learning new ways to PLAY in several skill areas are offered. "Play Their Way" covers skills in Math, Science, Language and Literacy, Creative Arts, Physical Gross Motor, Social Emotional, and Technology. We plan to continue "Play Their Way" with community support and partnerships with those finding early childhood important and meaningful.

 

The Child Care Committee is currently facilitating pilot projects to provide a research/evidence based Social Emotional curriculum for the community childcare providers to utilize. The curriculum is "Al's Caring Pals" for in home childcare providers and "Second Steps" for center based childcare providers. Implementing trainings for providers in the area to become familiar with these quality curriculum's will be our main focus. The Childcare Committee would like to invite you to attend events such as "Play Their Way" to become involved with the community as we grow and PLAY.

 

If you are interested in being a part of the Childcare Committee please contact Angel Story at 402‐564‐0815 for meeting dates, times and locations.