Success By 6


success-by-6.jpgSuccess by 6® is an early childhood initiative that works to ensure that all Kankakee County children 0-6 have the positive and enriching experiences and positive parent-child relationships necessary to begin school ready to succeed.


BESD 53 Family Support Bus bringing FREE developmental screenings for children ages 0-5 to your area!


In collaboration with Bourbonnais 53 District and parents support programs, we are excited to bring the BESD 53 Family Support bus to local libraries and community centers across Kankakee and Iroquois counties to offer development screenings. 

Upcoming Family Support Bus Dates
  • Bourbonnais Public Library – August 14th - 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
  • First United Methodist Family Fair - Sunday, August 20th - 12:30 - 2:30
  • Cissna Park Shop in the Park event – Saturday, September 9th - 9 AM - 1 PM
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Jointly funded by United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties and Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley, Success By 6 is comprised of early childhood professionals, passionate grandparents and guardians, school administrators, nonprofit leaders, healthcare providers, police chiefs, entrepreneurs and other community members who believe in the transformative power of investments within high-quality programs for young children and their families.

Steering Committee

Amanda Chorak | Olivet Nazarene University
Carolyn Short | Iroquois County Community Unit School District 
David Andriano | CUSD 9
James Duggan | Bourbonnais Elementary School District 53
Mariah Vail | United Way of Kankakee & Iroquois Counties
Mia Hansen | Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley
Rhonda Pence | Iroquois Federal
Kerstin Rust | Resident & Parent
Sarah Schoon | Central Citizens' Library & CUSD 4
Sarah C Winkel | Project SUN
Tyler Reynolds | Easterseals Jumpstart Home Visiting Program


If you're interested in joining the Coalition or contributing to an action team, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Kankakee County 3rd graders are not reading at Illinois state standards at 40% of area elementary schools
  • 19% of children live in high poverty households.
  • Children who start behind, usually stay behind.
  • A critical path is laid in the first few years of life. Early learning matters for future success.

Collectively, we can help young children succeed in school, which can lead to increased graduation rates, improved public safety, and a stronger local economy.
If we take action now, we can significantly improve the situation:

  • Investing in early childhood development yields a significant payoff ($7-$8 returned for each $1 invested)
  • Expanding quality educational child care and pre-kindergarten programs is the most effective strategy for reducing youth violence and crime.
  • Early language skills are an excellent predictor of reading ability by third grade. Parents want to know how to foster early language skills in their children.
  • If children read at grade level by the 3rd grade, they are more likely to graduate from high school.
  • Children who graduate from high school are more likely to go on to higher education and/or enter the job market as tax-paying citizens.
  • Employable, tax-paying citizens are critical to a vital economy.


Bright By Text

Bright by Text is a nationwide text messaging service that helps parents and caregivers of children prenatal to age eight make the most of everyday interactions. Through free tips, information, games, and resources, Bright by Text is proven to build nurturing caregiver-child relationships, strengthen families, promote healthy child development, and improve school readiness.

To sign up, visit or text UWKIC to 274448.

EDI-logo.pngSuccess By 6 is currently in partnership with the Erikson Institute of Chicago to bring the Early Development Instrument to Kankakee County.The EDI is a holistic assessment that provides neighborhood level data on the development of our children. To learn more about the EDI and what has been accomplished with the data so far visit the website below.

EDI Website

EDI Map Book

75% of Kankakee County children are in child-care at some point before starting school. Illinois has a new Quality Rating process available for child-care providers, using different “star levels” to rate the quality of the child-care provider.

For children in child-care, affordable, quality child-care is essential to a child’s health and future workforce potential. In addition, if a child-care provider receives Quality Rating designation, he/she gets higher child-care subsidies from the state, improving the financial stability of the provider and adding increased wages to the local economy.

The Success by 6® Coalition is funding technical assistance for home-based child-care providers to apply for Quality Rating System designation.