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"Block by Block" Events to Raise Awareness about the Importance of Quality Early Education


ECGRA, Erie Together, and Partners Boost PreK Awareness

and Enrollment “Block by Block” This Summer


Erie Together is teaming up with the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority to raise awareness about the importance of quality early education. At each of six free community block events, Erie Together will provide children and their families with kindergarten readiness resources, educational activities, and food and drinks. ECGRA has invested $15,000 to make the countywide events possible.

According to research, 20% of Erie County children live in poverty and our local school districts report 51% of Erie County kids are not ready for kindergarten when they get there. To affect these figures, Block by Block events target children birth to age 5 among Erie County’s underserved populations.

ECGRA Executive Director Perry Wood said, “It’s not difficult to draw the correlation between education and fiscal independence. Our goal in partnering with Erie Together is to ready pre-kindergarteners for school through early education so that each student has the opportunity to not only positively impact their own future, but the future of Erie County, as well.”

Additional partners include Block by Block’s generous hosts (noted below) and Union City Family Support Center, United Way of Erie County, Success By 6, Erie’s Future Fund, IU5, Cumulus Media, and many others who have dedicated their time and resources to the cause. Each of the free summer events feature:


  • Erie Together K-Readiness Checklist, Progress Chart, Kindergarten Registration Information, and a booklet of at-home activities to help children of all ages develop kindergarten readiness skills

  • Erie’s Future Fund (scholarships for high quality early care and education)

  • Parents as Teachers (evidence-based home visiting program)

  • Success by Six (transition to K-planning)

  • Early Education Resources (CCIS, HeadStart, etc.)

  • Other resources/programs to prepare kids for school and build a culture of literacy and learning in the home

  • Free food, activities, prizes , and giveaways


Erie Together Assistant Facilitator Nicole Wethli said, “Our goal is to help parents and family members, whether it be aunts, uncles, grandparents or neighbors, understand the importance of early childhood education and helping children learn through play. Learning starts at birth and we want all children to start school with a strong foundation so they can succeed early, read proficiently by the end of third grade, and graduate on time ready for the next step.”


Block by Block kicks off Wednesday June 22, 1-3 p.m. at the Union City Public Library. Children and their

families are invited to attend the Block by Block event nearest them (see below). The fun is all free!


Wednesday, June 22

1-3 p.m.

Union City Public Library

2 Stranahan St, Union City

In parking lot

Sunday, July 10

3-6 p.m.

Erie Zoo

423 W. 38th St., Erie

Inside main gate; free admission 4-6 p.m.

Wednesday, July 13

11 a.m.-2 p.m.

St. Ben's Education Center

345 E. 9th St., Erie

In parking lot

Monday, July 18

3-6 p.m.

Sisters of Saint Joseph Neighborhood


453 W. 16th St., Erie

In parking lot

Wednesday, July 30

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Our Lady of the Lake/Thrifty Threads

128 Sunset Dr., Edinboro

Friday, August 19

10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Experience Children's Museum 

420 French St., Erie

Free admission all day

For more information visit