School Readiness Backpacks


Education starts with being prepared to learn. At United Way of the Wine Country, we recognize the importance of early childhood education. United Way School Readiness Backpacks, targeted to low-income families of children ages 3-5, help ensure our children enter kindergarten ready to learn.

The United Way School Readiness Backpack is divided into four sections and includes more than 80 activities for parents and caregivers to use to engage their child at home. Each section has helpful tips on how children learn. The last section contains resources and additional information to prepare children for school. Inside the United Way School Readiness Backpack are books and other fun activities for parents and caregivers to use with their child. The kit also contains music, crayons, and even scissors safe for young children.

The goal of family engagement is all parents and caregivers have the tools and resources to be capable, competent contributors to their child’s education.

Please click here to download the 2016 program evaluation of the School Readiness Backpack program.

If you are interested in obtaining United Way School Readiness Backpacks for your program or your child in Sonoma, Lake, Humboldt or Del Norte Counties, please contact Kelly Musca at (707) 528-4485 ext. 115 or [email protected] to learn more.

Other Parent Resources

Read Aloud 15 Minutes: Every child. Every parent. Every day.
Click here to download PDF.

Lea en Voz Alta 15 Minutos: Cada niño. Cada padre. Cada día.
Haga clic aquí para descargar PDF.

10 Critical Facts about Summer Reading – good resource, encompasses facts present in all the articles under the preventing the summer slide section. Comprehensive and short – good quick read for parents.

Guide to Choosing Good Books – good guide to choose books for children based on their developmental age.

Guide to Preschoolers and Reading – early childhood development guide aimed at preschool aged children. Also contains a month of fun reading activities parents can do with their children to engage them in reading.

La Lectura – a good guide to early literacy and fun reading activities for parents to do with their children in Spanish.

Reduce TV Toolkit – good comprehensive fact sheet and activities families can do together that don’t involve TV.

Getting Ready for School Begins at Birth – this article is a great resource for families to help prepare their children for school readiness.

Transitions to Kindergarten – helpful guide for parents whose children are entering kindergarten.

While we do not yet provide School Readiness Backpacks to partners in Mendocino County, free monthly books are available for children 0-5 through Imagination Library: