History

History 2017-12-13T11:10:34+00:00

History of Collaboration

Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond has been in existence in some way, shape or form for nearly two decades. From the inception of Youth Matters at ChamberRVA to the launch of Success By 6™ at United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, the work has always been defined by the significant level of collaboration demonstrated by the organizations involved.

Today, Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond continued to leverage the strengths of its anchor organizations. ChamberRVA has helped to establish early childhood as a crucial component of the workforce pipeline and raise awareness of the issue among its membership. United Way’s reputation as a longstanding nonprofit helped to bring community partners together with Smart Beginnings, to analyze data and emerging trends, and develop collaborative solution.

Learn more about our history and milestones in the evolution of Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond in the timeline below.

Organizational Timeline

Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond Timeline of Organizational Milestones

1996
January 1

Formation of Youth Matters

Formation of Youth Matters, a business engagement and community strategy initiative, housed at ChamberRVA. The initiative was supported in part by a 10-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Urban Health Initiative.
1998
January 1

Formation of Success by 6

Formation of Success by 6™ at United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. United Way also established the Children, Youth and Families Action Council recognizing the importance of funding early care and education programs.
2001
January 1

ChamberRVA and United Way Align Early Childhood Efforts

ChamberRVA and United Way align their early childhood efforts to form the Early Childhood Development Coalition. Work funded by Early Learning Opportunities Act grants totaling $2.7M helped to pilot one of the first iterations of Virginia Quality, implement Raising a Reader and the Include Me Project.
2003
January 1

Virginia’s Child Day Care Council Established

Virginia’s Child Day Care Council was established and authorized by the Code of Virginia to adopt regulatory standards for licensure and operations of child care centers. Governor Mark Warner selected Gail Johnson, former chair for Youth Matters, to chair the council.
2005
January 1

Virginia Early Childhood Foundation Created

Virginia Early Childhood Foundation was created.
2006
January 1

ChamberRVA and United Way Merge Early Childhood Efforts

ChamberRVA and United Way merged their early childhood efforts to form the Success by 6™ Partnership and a regional Early Childhood Leadership Council. Governor Tim Kaine established the Start Strong Council to expand access to quality preschool for 4 year-olds. Leadership Council member, Katherine Busser, was tapped to serve on this council.
2007
January 1

Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond Launches

Building on nearly a decade of regional collaboration, business engagement, and program improvement, Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond is launched with a $500,000 grant from the newly formed Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.
2008
January 1

Regional Forum for School Readiness

Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond facilitates a Regional Forum for School Readiness to unite local government, school, business and nonprofit leaders to create a comprehensive plan for school readiness across the region.
2010
January 1

Regional Plan for Children’s School Readiness is Published

The Regional Plan for Children’s School Readiness is published and local work groups are formed and begin meeting consistently to achieve goals outlined in the regional plan.
2011
January 1

First Regional Kindergarten Registration Campaign

The first Regional Kindergarten Registration Campaign was launched in Spring 2011, bringing together 10 school divisions across the region to coordinate registration activities and ensure that more parents know about the importance of school readiness.
2012
January 1

2012 Commonwealth Award of Excellence

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) honored the Regional Kindergarten Registration Campaign with a 2012 Commonwealth Award of Excellence indicating that the campaign met rigorous national standards. The first annual Results Report was published, highlighting progress made towards goals in the regional plan.
2013
January 1

Richmond History Maker Award for Encouraging Regional Collaboration

Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond received a Richmond History Maker award for Encouraging Regional Collaboration through its Regional Kindergarten Registration Campaign. Kings Dominion worked in partnership with Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond to develop and install signage in the new Planet Snoopy and publish a Family FUNtastic Guide for park visitors.
July 1

Virginia Chamber of Commerce Blueprint Virginia Plan

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce recognized early childhood education as a key determinant of academic success and long-range economic vitality in their Blueprint Virginia plan.
2014
January 1

Grant Funding from the Virginia Department of Health

Family Lifeline, the City of Richmond and United Way receive a second year of grant funding from the Virginia Department of Health, eventually bringing almost $1M to the region to expand home visitation services.
2015
January 1

Fiscal Sponsorship Transitioned to ChamberRVA

Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond transitions fiscal sponsorship to ChamberRVA (Greater Richmond Chamber Foundation).
2017
January 1

Regional Plan for School Readiness 2017-2020

The Regional Plan for School Readiness 2017-2020 is launched.