Smart Beginnings Shenandoah Valley

United Way of Harrisonburg & Rockingham County acts as the fiscal agent for this dynamic educational initiative.

Imagine living in a community...
that draws people together to shape a positive and healthy future for its youngest citizens.*

Imagine a community where...

  • all children love books and are ready to learn by the time they enter school.
  • all parents are equipped with the tools and resources necessary to raise healthy children prepared to succeed in school (including quality childcare options).
  • employers partner with employees and service providers to ensure economic self-sufficiency for our young families.
  • all community leaders demonstrate a commitment to young children by mobilizing resources and implementing policies that support child growth and development

Smart Beginnings Shenandoah Valley imagined just such a place when it was launched in 2001. Over the past 5 years, community and business leaders worked together to identify, understand, and address the needs of our youngest community members. Over $2 million in grant funds were obtained and invested locally in new programs for our community. The efforts of the Coalition resulted in the first annual Early Childhood Summit in January 2006 engaging over 150 persons in setting goals and objectives for our shared vision. The Coalition is changing the way things work so young children can come to school ready to succeed.

The Coalition is galvanizing business, government and non-profit leaders around early learning by raising the awareness of the importance of early childhood development, increasing access to services, advocating for public policies and improving systems — budgets, laws and supports — to improve young children’s lives.

2012-2017 Strategic Plan