Annual Report

Building Together

KC Ready 4s Annual Report 2018 – 2019

Dear Friends of Fours,

Joyful… Intentional… Life Changing!

From the very beginning, those four simple words have served as the building blocks for Kalamazoo County Ready 4s. Everything we do is centered around ensuring that children have the opportunity to learn and grow in environments that are joyful, intentional and life changing.

As you look through our Year 8 Annual Report, you will notice some changes. First of all, it’s much, much shorter. Second, we have less text and more graphs and numbers. However, we didn’t want questions to go unanswered, so check out our website to obtain additional information.

We are hopeful you will enjoy reading our Annual Report just as much as we enjoyed designing it. KC Ready 4s was built around a spirit of collaboration, and the role you play as a partner in this work is recognized and valued. By Building Together, we are building a sustainable pre-kindergarten system that will support children now and into the future.

Thank you for joining us in this important work!

Best regards,
Lynne Cowart, Board President
Sandy Standish, Executive Director

2018-2019 Board of Directors

  • Lynne Cowart, President | Community Volunteer
  • Tim Bartik, PhD, Vice-President | Senior Economist, W.E. Upjohn Institute
  • Scott MacCallum, CPA, Treasurer | Senior Manager, Jansen Valk Thompson Reahm PC
  • Denise R. Crawford | President & CEO, Family Health Center Joanna Dales | Vice-President,
  • Donor Relations, Kalamazoo Community Foundation
  • Roberto Flachier, PhD | Community Volunteer
  • Elizabeth Jackson-Spaner | Coordinator for Early Childhood, Kalamazoo Public Schools
  • Shirley Johnson | Community Volunteer
  • Wendy Maynard-Somers | Superintendent, Galesburg-Augusta Community Schools
  • Mindy Miller | Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Programs & Services, Kalamazoo RESA
  • Regena Nelson, PhD | Professor and Chair, Teaching, Learning & Educational Studies, Western Michigan University
  • Dallas Oberlee | Program Director, W.E. Upjohn Institute/Michigan Works!
  • Russell Rathburn | President/Owner, Rathco Safety & Supply Inc.
  • Jennifer Sell, EdD | Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Kalamazoo RESA
  • Namita Sharma, JD | Attorney, Brueggemann & Sharma, P.C.
  • Charlotte J. Smith, JD, Secretary | Deputy Director, LISC – Michigan Statewide
  • Veronica VanAntwerp, CPA, CFE, Treasurer | Controller, Greenleaf Capital
  • Sheri Welsh | President & CEO, Welsh & Associates, Inc.


Tuition Support for 3- and 4-Year-Olds

In addition to serving 4-year-olds, we launched a pilot program to serve 3-year-olds!

281 4-year-olds received tuition support totaling $543,175

30 3-year-olds attended full-day pre-K at a total cost of $231,128

Alphabet blocks illustration

Enrichment Activities

We love our community partners! One of the goals of KC Ready 4s is to provide learning opportunities for children who might not otherwise experience the joy of participating in art, music, dance and other enrichment experiences. A special thank you to the following organizations who worked with us this year:

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

270 children visited the KIA to experience the joy of learning about the world of art!

Wellspring Ready Movers

180 children experienced the joy of movement,
mindfulness, and dance!

WMU Movement Exchange

97 children experienced the joy of dance in collaboration with 17 WMU dance students!

Kalamazoo AirZoo

36 children experienced the joy of learning about space and

Volunteer Reader Program

378 children experienced the joy of reading books
with a volunteer.

“Mi experiencia con KC Ready 4s es muy divertido. Me gusta leer a los ninos de Kalamazoo y KC Ready 4s trabajan muy duro hacer la opportunidad muy facil.”

— Adam Muncy, Reading Volunteer


Building a strong foundation for future learning

All programs that participate with KC Ready 4s receive customized classroom support from one of our Teacher Mentors, and have access to free
professional development training opportunities.

55 programs received high quality support.

28 programs received tuition support for qualified families.

High-Quality Support
  • KC Ready 4s high-quality support includes:
    • professional development
    • speech & language support
    • mentoring
    • curriculum
    • family support
TSGold Student Skills

TS Gold results are to the left and CORE results were not available at the time of publication

Throughout the school year, teachers monitor children’s skill development using a comprehensive, research based assessment tool. KC Ready 4s’ partnering programs utilize either the Teaching Strategies GOLD or the COR Advantage child assessment tool. Skill development of nearly 500 4-year-olds and 100 3-year-old preschool children was assessed using an authentic child assessment tool.

Graph: Percent of children performing consistent with or above national averages

Life Changing

The impact of KC Ready 4s goes far beyond helping families receive tuition assistance. We have impacted 1,105 4-year-olds and 90 3-year-olds throughout Kalamazoo County with our high-quality support. These supports reach far beyond the children in the classroom and can be transformational for generations to come!

50% gain in test scores of all 4-year-olds served
93% gain in test scores of low income children
119% gain in test scores of minority children

We built strong family connections with participating programs and community partners by hosting family engagement events that offered resources, intentional relationship building and engaging at home activities. This was also a connection point for our family and community liaison to offer direct one on one support for families.

816 Families Served

Assisting them in areas of employment, training, housing and food insecurity, back to school orientations and speech support through partnerships with KYDNet, The Kalamazoo Promise, Michigan Works!, WSI, Robert Half Agency, and others.

266 Families Participated in Munch & Learn Events

On a variety of fun and informative topics, such as: Everyday Fun with Math, Preschoolers as Scientists, Mindful Moments, Cooking with Kids, Creative Movement, Language & Literacy, and Michigan Works! Resources.

Through the implementation of mindfulness in the classroom, KC Ready 4s supported children’s social emotional development and helped build their capacity for self-regulation.

On the Horizon

KC Ready 4s is building the foundation for a culturally aware team. We will set aside the time, effort and energy to create an understanding of cultures within our community. We look forward to growing this value. We launched this new website! The 2019-2020 school year is our 10th anniversary! We will be celebrating this achievement and the exciting impact that KC Ready 4s has had on the community.


We’re immensely grateful for the ongoing support of our local foundations, businesses, and individual donors. The following names represent 2018-2019 contributions received by June 30, 2019. We’ve made every attempt at accuracy; however, if you see an error or omission, please contact Sandra L. Standish, Executive Director at (269) 366-9140.

Building Together
($5001 and up)

  • Burton H. and Elizabeth S. Upjohn Charitable Trust
  • De Groot Family Foundation
  • First National Bank of Michigan Charitable Fund
  • Glen C. and Gail G. Smith Fund
  • Harold and Grace Upjohn Foundation
  • Humphrey Products
  • Irving S. Gilmore Foundation
  • Kalamazoo Community Foundation
  • Kendall and Susan Warren Fund
  • Mirthwood Fund
  • PNC Foundation
  • Samuel J. Colef and Mary E. Colef Memorial Fund
  • Si and Shirley Johnson Family Fund
  • Stryker
  • Stryker Johnston Foundation
  • The Marvin and Rosalie Okun Foundation
  • United Way of the Battle Creek & Kalamazoo Region
  • W.S. and Lois VanDalson Foundation

Life Changing
($2501 to $5000)

  • Anonymous in honor of Lynne Cowart
  • Anonymous
  • Havirmill Foundation
  • Ronald and Joan Molitor
  • Donald and Ann Parfet
  • Teaching Strategies, LLC
  • The Gary Sisters Foundation
  • Tyler Little Family Foundation in honor of Shirley Johnson

($1001 to $2500)

  • Anonymous
  • Carol and Tom Beech
  • Dean and Kathryn Bergy
  • Lia Gaggino and Rodger Parzyck
  • James and Winifred Stewart Donor Advised Fund
  • Peggy Louise Kingsley
  • Cindy and Kevin Kole
  • Scott Lemons
  • Joel and Florence Orosz
  • People’s Church of Kalamazoo
  • Bill and Nancy Richardson

($1 to $1000)

  • Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum
  • Airway Fun Center
  • Amazon Smile
  • AMC Portage Street 10
  • Anonymous (6)
  • Joe and Irene Atkinson
  • Timothy J. Bartik
  • Kristina Bazali
  • Martha Betke
  • Binder Park Zoological Society
  • Bookbug/this is a bookstore
  • Bronson Rambling Road Pediatrics
  • Ann and Robert Brown
  • Kristyn Buhl-Lepisto
  • Elizabeth Bullmer
  • Bob and Mary Butler
  • Phil and Carol Carra
  • Michael and Julie Cartier
  • Celebration Cinema
  • Child & Family Psychological Services
  • Kathryn and David Christ
  • City Centre Market
  • Cole Gavlas, PC
  • James D. and Lynne F. Cowart
  • Jamie Cree
  • Lisbeth Curkovic
  • Joisan Dehaan
  • Richard and Kathy Dirrenberger
  • Randy and Diane Eberts
  • Sue Edwards
  • Susan and Fred Einspahr
  • Estate of Annette “Elaine” Gillis
  • Five Below
  • Roberto Flachier
  • Gail and Tom Kasdorf Fund
  • Alexis and Jeff Geromin
  • Susan Gilmore
  • Jared and Tina Glover
  • Leo and Martine Goddeyne
  • Faye Goldner
  • Bruce and Jeanne Grubb
  • Brendan and Amber Guilford
  • Mary Gustas
  • Rochelle Habeck and H. Allan Hunt
  • James and Wendy Hilboldt, in honor of his parents Jim and Martha Hilboldt
  • Jim and Martha Hilboldt
  • Kathryn Hillenbrand
  • Dave and Linda Holzwarth
  • HopCat Kalamazoo
  • DeeDee Hoy
  • Initial Attraction
  • Barbara and Jerry James
  • Jaqua Realtors
  • Judy Jolliffe
  • Kalamazoo Candle Company
  • Kalamazoo Growlers
  • Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
  • Kalamazoo Nature Center
  • Kalamazoo Regional Educational
  • Service Agency
  • KCMHSAS #LookBeyond
  • Kellogg Community Credit Union
  • Marcus Kole
  • Vicki Konzen
  • Ken and Laurie Kreg
  • Allan and Rita LaReau
  • Stephanie Ludwig
  • David A. Maurer
  • Shannon McBride
  • Ed and Nancy McCarty
  • Nathan Melvin
  • Lissette Mira-Amaya
  • Craig and Diane Misner
  • Nancy and Mark Mitchell
  • Nature Connection
  • Rick and Donna Neevel
  • Regena Nelson
  • Rhonda Newman
  • Old National Bank
  • Keevin and Lisa O’Neill
  • Carla Osborn
  • Shaunna Padgett
  • Dale and Kathy Peerbolte
  • Jim and Judy Praeger
  • Rathco Safety Supply, Inc.
  • Revel & Roll
  • Michael F. Rice
  • Bridget and Eric Rohs
  • Matthew and Michelle Ross
  • Cathie Schau
  • Renae and Jason Schug
  • Ali Schwartz
  • Senior Services RSVP – Helping
  • Hands, Happy People Project
  • Namita Sharma
  • Sky Zone
  • Alan Smith
  • Debra and Douglas Stafinski
  • Dave and Sandy Standish
  • David and Emily Standish
  • The Little Gym
  • Mary and Thomas Tift
  • Amy Upjohn and Brad VandenBerg
  • Randy and Deborah Van Antwerp
  • Jon and Courtenay VanderMolen
  • VanderVeen Family
  • Bill and Carrie Venema
  • Robin Voshell
  • Walther Farms, LLC
  • Joshua and Pamela Weiner
  • Teresa West
  • John and Mary Whyte
  • Carolyn H. Williams
  • WMU Athletics
  • YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo