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Contact Us Contact Us Meriden Children First Initiative 165 Miller Street
Meriden, CT 06450
Tel: 203.630.3566
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What We Do

Meriden Children First Initiative seeks to assist children 'cradle through career' and their families residing in Meriden. 

In addition, CFI is currently conducting a survey of individuals who live in the Meriden Family Zone to find out how they feel about their schools and neighborhoods. Information provided by these families will be used in the planning of a comprehensive cradle-to-career continuum of services for these families.   Read here for more information about the Family Zone.

A Snapshot of Meriden

The Meriden Family Zone includes two of Meridenís poorest census tracts. The MFZ is significantly more diverse than the City or State. The number of residents who identify as Hispanic / Latino has increased by 63% since 1990, and more than 2 in 3 children are Hispanic.

 

We address multiple barriers to early literacy and school success: (1) Severe family poverty, with 51% of Zone children under 5 years old below poverty; (2) Limited English Proficiency:  55% of children live in homes where the primary language is not English; (3) Absenteeism: 14% of MFZ students had > 20 absences, double that of those outside; 20% of MFZ 9th graders had > 20 absences, versus 10% outside. (4) Behavioral issues: 25% of students show behavioral health needs; 85% of parents surveyed sought help supporting their children in managing emotions.

 

These barriers are compounded by a lack of quality early care and education slots and cultural and linguistic barriers to engagement in available early literacy programs.  The result of these barriers is low levels of achievement (2012): In Reading, only 26% of MFZ 3rd graders scored in goal range (State: 58%); 29% of Maloney 10th grade students reached goal in reading (State: 45%).




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