Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

Monroe Smart Start

The Monroe Smart Start Birth-to-Five Coalition, led by United Way and the Community Foundation, brings families and communities together to make sure our children enter kindergarten healthy, happy, and ready to succeed in school and in life. We focus on the first five years because they are critical to a child’s life-long development.

Coalition members include local leaders in education, government, health and human services, as well as parents and other community members.

Monroe Smart Start projects include:

Start Kindergarten Ready to Learn - Kindergarten Readiness Checklist
Help the children in your life start kindergarten ready to learn! This one-page school readiness checklist, approved by MCCSC and RBB school districts, offers guidelines to help caregivers prepare children for school. Download the Kindergarten Readiness Checklist pdf.


Getting Your Child Ready for Kindergarten - Kindergarten Readiness Booklet
This guide is filled with tips for helping children learn and grow during their first five years, Download the Kindergarten Readiness Booklet pdf.


Literacy Parties
In fall 2012, children and families throughout our area participated in Literacy Parties hosted by United Way and Monroe Smart Start. Exploring books together helps create strong family bonds and is key to brain development and healthy emotional and social growth. Currently only 1 in 3 local children enter kindergarten with the early literacy skills that can help them be successful. Children who start school without these skills face a more challenging road ahead. Literacy Parties create an upbeat, casual learning atmosphere where we engage children in fun alphabet games, distribute free books, and encourage parents in their role as their child’s first teacher. Read more >>


Let's Read!
At all wellness visits from six months to five years old, pediatricians and nurses take time to talk with parents about the importance of reading at home. At each visit kids and parents will receive a book and other pertinent early learning materials and resources. Read more >>


B is for Bloomington
This locally created children’s book helps children and caregivers explore our community, one letter at a time. Learn about landmarks, public art, exciting places to play, and other distinct features of local culture. Plus, the index is filled with information about each letter item and provides ideas for activities that bring the alphabet to life. Distributed through outreach and literacy events, B is for Bloomington offers a great opportunity to connect with pre-K children and their parents/caregivers to highlight the importance of kindergarten readiness and model interactive reading


Do you want to strengthen education in our community?

Please consider donating to the United Way Education Priority Fund. This fund helps children achieve their potential through cradle-to-career initiatives that ensure kids enter kindergarten ready to learn and graduate high school ready to earn success in college or career.

Want to learn more about additional Education initiatives or the other building blocks for a good life - Earnings and Essentials?

  • Born Learning
  • Financial Stability Alliance
  • Monroe Smart Start
  • Familywize Discount Prescription Card
  • Bank On Bloomington