For Release: Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Contact: Kristi Crisp, United Way, 260.469.4019 (work)


FORT WAYNE, IN (July 11, 2018) – United Way of Allen County kicks off Kindergarten Countdown this week with Fort Wayne Community Schools and East Allen County Schools. Kindergarten Countdown, a four-week program aimed at helping kids prepare for school in the fall, will hold a community fun day to kick off the summer program. United Way is partnering with Brightpoint, Allen County Public Library, and the Fraternal Order of Police for this community fun day.

“We are pleased to not only continue this initiative again this year, but to have great partners that will offer our next generation leaders activities to participate in, free books, and community resources as part of this fun family event,” said David Nicole, president and CEO of United Way of Allen County. “Last year the program was a tremendous success with several measurable outcomes. By the end of the program, 85 percent of the students were able to write their names.”

East Allen County Schools has two Kindergarten Countdown classrooms at Southwick Elementary and Fort Wayne Community Schools has classrooms at Abbett Elementary, Brentwood Elementary, Fairfield Elementary, Forest Park Elementary, Harrison Hill Elementary, and Waynedale Elementary. At-risk students – those with little or no early-childhood learning experience or who are limited English speakers – were identified by the schools during kindergarten orientation in April and invited to participate in the program at no cost to the families. Community Transportation Network provided transportation for East Allen County Schools’ students. Free breakfast and lunch are provided through the summer food program to all the students. Kindergarten Countdown focuses on skills such as literacy and language development. It’s also an opportunity for social-emotional adjustment and ensuring children who have never been in a classroom setting are prepared to jump in and learn in August when school officially begins.

This year, United Way will hold a press conference at Prince Chapman Academy, 4808 E. Paulding Rd. on Friday, July 13 at the beginning of the community fun day. The conference will begin at 9 a.m. The media is invited to ask questions and take photos at the event.

About United Way
Established in 1922, United Way of Allen County is a not-for-profit organization that works to strengthen the community through education, income, health, and basic needs. United Way believes that quality education helps families achieve stable jobs, a safe place to live and good health. For more information, please visit