Those in Hannibal, Missouri say work is underway to establish a way for families to easily access resources and services to help get their kids ready for school.
In 2019, the state of Missouri received a federal grant for the purpose of getting children under the age of five ready for kindergarten. Since then, the state has been in the process of organizing regional hubs that would gather the resources and services local organizations offer in one place for easy access.
Community leaders said Region 7 was established in Marion County in September and they had their first meeting this month. Whitney Holliday, director of Parents as Teachers for Hannibal Public Schools, said they have been forming partnerships with local organizations like Douglass Community Services to gather data on who uses different services across the region and why.
They will submit their data and recommendations to the Missouri Office of Childhood, which is under the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“They are looking for our feedback on that and our stockholders feedback as to what’s going to work best in our area and the Office of Childhood is very open to making sure it’s a good fit for all of Missouri,” Holliday said.