BY5 Continues to Transform the Community
Muncie continues to both feel and see the incredible long-term revitalization impact BY5 is having by connecting Kindergarten readiness to economic success. Muncie Action Plan aims to connect education, health, and prosperity and was the “incubator” of BY5 until it became an independent non-profit in 2013.
Because of BY5 and the support of its partners, Delaware County has seen a 58% increase in available high-quality child care spots from 2013 until 2017. This increase allows parents and caregivers to evaluate child care facilities based on a child’s needs rather than simply settle for an available opening.
Last year, the total number of Little Free Libraries in BY5’s network increased dramatically to 29, due in large part to collaboration between BY5, United Way of Delaware County, and Ball State University. Little Free Libraries are decorative boxes that serve as a donation and collection location for books in order to enhance childhood literacy rates and increase the number of books in the community. Nearly a dozen more Little Free Libraries are in development. As of last year’s BY5 annual report, 23 Little Free Libraries were hosted by organizations and 6 were hosted by private homes in the BY5 Little Free Library Network.
BY5’s Early Learning Environment Task Force has rolled out a new program called Little Learners Passport. These ‘passports’ contain 100 community-based activities which help children gain the necessary skills for Kindergarten readiness and build family engagement. The Little Learners Passports encourage physical activity and skill development and can be picked up at locations including Muncie Public Library branches, Huffer CCR&R, Culver’s, the Ross Center, various YMCA locations, and at other public and private agencies.
In 2017, BY5 provided guidance to 15 emerging or established early learning coalitions around the state through ongoing conversations and information sharing. Over 200 individuals and organizations serve as ambassadors, family navigators, friends, and partners in BY5’s network. Check out BY5’s entire 2017 Annual Report <here>.