Smart from the Start (Smart) is a family support, community engagement and school readiness program that has as its mission to prevent the achievement gap among low-income, young children living in the most underserved communities.
Directly and through partner organizations, Smart from the Start provides a range of programs: from prenatal classes, home visiting and play-to-learn groups, to adult education, family stabilization services and parent support. All programs arecustomized to meet the unique needs of the communities they serve. Smart from the Start’s vision is that all children will enter school with the cognitive, language, physical, and social/emotional assets that lead to school and subsequent life success. We are currently facilitating programming in 5 languages – English, Spanish, Haitian-Creole, Cantonese and Somali.
Children and Families we Serve:
Smart from the Start targets, exclusively, the most underserved families and communities in the city. The overwhelming majority of our families live in public or subsidized housing, and our average family income is approximately $7,000 annually. 77 % of our families are unemployed at the time of enrollment and at least half do not have a high school education. Despite incredible strengths and resiliencies, many of them struggle with issues such as maternal depression, substance abuse, domestic and community violence, teen parenthood and more. Smart serves a culturally and ethnically diverse population of families from all over the world! Family structures of current participants include single- and two-parent families, kinship and foster families, grandparents raising their grandchildren, and teen parents.