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Erlanger-Elsmere Schools to Host Community Block Party

All residents of Erlanger and Elsmere are invited to celebrate the back-to-school season at the fourth annual Community Block Party hosted by Erlanger-Elsmere Schools. The Block Party is from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday, August 14, in the parking lots of Tichenor Middle School and Lloyd High School.

The entire community will turn out to celebrate, including the city leaders of Erlanger and Elsmere, firefighters, police officers, local business and community organizations. Attendees will not only have the opportunity to learn about the wonderful variety of services and activities available throughout the community and in the schools, but also will enjoy free food prepared by the district's food service staff and music complements of the Youth Service Centers. The fun will include prizes, giveaways, and face painting.

"This is an important event because the entire school district and the communities of Elsmere and Erlanger come together to celebrate our students and welcome them back to school," says Dr. Kathy Burkhardt, Superintendent of Erlanger-Elsmere Schools. "It is truly a shared partnership and the community support provided to our students and staff from the entire community is remarkable. The Block Party is a wonderful example of authentic partnership toward student success. It shows that when we join hands and work together to assist our children in their growth and development their possibilities are infinite!"

New this year, the Block Party will highlight the district’s commitment to high-quality early childhood learning, as it will serve as the unofficial community launch of Pre-K Works, an initiative powered by Skyward, United Way Success by 6 and Erlanger-Elsmere schools to invest in early childhood. The Erlanger-Elsmere Early Childhood Community Collaborative (E3C), including local childcare centers and preschool programs, will have activities and information for families of young children in a special area of the block party. Pre-K Works is one more piece of the district’s comprehensive approach to provide personalized learning to all children by extending those programs to infants, toddlers, and their families through collaboration with many engaged partners.

“In the state of Kentucky, only 53 percent of children were ready for kindergarten at the start of the 2014 school year. Dedication to early childhood is a smart upfront investment that supports our future workforce and regional economy,” Dr. Burkhardt says. “High quality early childhood education can result in as much as a $7.00 ROI (return on investment) for every public dollar invested in a child's education before age five. Achieving this goal will take a multi-tactic approach including providing access to high quality early learning for all three- and four-year-olds, expanding the number of high quality childcare providers in our region, and increasing capacity for best practice home visitation programs.

"The Erlanger Elsmere School District is proud pave to way as a demonstration site and be a partner in this work extremely important work,“ she added.

The Community Block Party is in its fourth year. It was started by a parent and teacher committee at Tichenor Middle School. Tichenor's Youth Service Center Coordinator, Ms. Karen Hughes, and previous Principal, Mr. Bryant Gillis along with many Tichenor staff members and parents worked diligently each year to reach out to community members and school personnel to grow the event each year. The event is now a districtwide community event with Lloyd High School also assisting as a host. The event’s collaborative spirit and family focus only emphasizes the district’s conscientious approach.

“The root of all we are doing is in partnership with our families,” Dr. Burkhardt says.

From Erlanger-Elsmere Schools/Photo: Children from Erlanger-Elsmere (provided)