Boston is a diverse vibrant community that has become a 'majority minority' city; 64% of Boston households with young children are people of color. However, economic and racial disparities hinder the realization of children's potential: over 38,000 children five and younger live in the city and 24% of these children live below the federal poverty line.
In 2008, cognizant of persistent academic achievement gaps, especially for low income children and children of color in the city, the late Mayor, Thomas M. Menino, and United Way of Massachusetts Bay issued a school readiness call for action. Sixty-five community leaders, representing all of the systems and sectors that touch the lives of children, and 34 parents engaged in a School Readiness Action Planning effort, creating a School Readiness Roadmap which identified a set of ambitious goals, strategies and success indicators for change. Thrive in 5, "Boston's Promise to Its Children", became the backbone organization leading this citywide initiative.
The Thrive in 5 goal, established by broad consensus, is for 100% of Boston's children to be ready for school success upon kindergarten entry by 2018.
Friedman, Donna Haig; Coonan, Mary; Douglass, Anne; and Carter, Alice, "Boston Children Thrive in 5: Connecting Families, Building Community, Year 4 - Summative Evaluation Brief, Prepared for Thrive in 5" (2016). Center for Social Policy Publications. 84.