Thrive in 5 is committed to collaborating across the many sectors and programs that touch the lives of young children and families to ensure that children of all races, ethnicities, incomes, abilities and languages have the opportunities and support they need for success in school and beyond.
Thrive in 5 achieves its mission by partnering with families, early education and care providers, health providers, and other community organizations to build community capacity to support school readiness, strengthen the quality of services, expand and create new programs and initiatives to meet demand, and measure progress to ensure accountability so that each of our children enters kindergarten ready to succeed.
Boston’s Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley launched Thrive in 5 in 2008 with the goal of ensuring universal school readiness for all of Boston’s children. Designed through a year-long community planning process involving a diverse team of 65 professionals and 35 parents,outlines the vision and strategies that drive Thrive in 5’s work.
Our approach is illustrated by Boston’s School Readiness Equation, recognizing that a child’s’ success relies on the concerted effort of everyone involved in their lives:
Boston’s future prosperity depends on the health and well being of our next generation. Investing in young children now secures both their and our bright future. The next generation will pay back our investment through a lifetime of productivity and responsible citizenship.
Children’s early experiences shape the architecture of the brain. In the first few years of life, a child’s brain develops at a faster pace than during any other time. Healthy brain architecture is built through nurturing experiences and stimulating, high quality programs. Healthy brain architecture creates a strong foundation for long-term development. Focusing on children’s development across all areas – cognitive, language, social and emotional, and physical – is important because issues in one area can cause delays that impact the whole child.
Studies show that healthy development early on supports greater opportunities in education and the workforce, as well as better overall physical and mental health long into adulthood. These early investments lead to substantial cost savings to both individuals and society later in life. Boston is home to many innovative, proven programs that provide what young children need to create a strong foundation for their future success. Our challenge is to make sure that these programs work together and provide support to all our children, across our city, especially those facing the most challenges. Providing the right support to children early is more effective – both for kids and economically – than fixing problems later.