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Great Expectations


MDC is partnering with the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust as the activating agency for the Great Expectations initiative. The Trust plans to invest between $30-40 million over 10-15 years to support the development of a strong foundation for the children of Forsyth County, N.C. to succeed in school and life by the time they complete kindergarten, regardless of their family's income.

The goal of Great Expectations is that all young children, birth to age six, living in Forsyth County, N.C.—particularly those who are living in financially-disadvantaged families—will meet age-appropriate developmental milestones in their first five years, enter kindergarten ready for the grand adventure of schooling, and leave kindergarten fully ready for learning and life success.

Drawing on decades of designing, facilitating and supporting significant place-based collaborative community change initiatives, MDC, working in close partnership with the Trust, will coordinate multiple strategies across a set of focus areas to advance this goal. These strategies are described on the Great Expectations website, and include:

  • Knowledge development in the early childhood field to inform the Trust’s investments
  • Strategic use of data throughout the initiative, including a thorough gap analysis of the early childhood system, facilitation of a community assessment with families, service providers, and county stakeholders, and development of outcome measures with grantees Creation of a cross-cutting family engagement strategy to increase parent/caregiver voice in the work of Great Expectations and in the early childhood system itself
  • Development of a strategy for system’s change that recognizes both the contribution and responsibility of cross-sector leaders in improving outcomes with young children and their families

As a result of the Trust's 10- to 15-year Great Expectations investment, 90 percent of all financially-disadvantaged children living in Forsyth County, N.C., from birth to age six, will:

  • Reach age-appropriate developmental milestones from birth to entry into 1st grade
  • Enter kindergarten healthy and ready for the grand adventure of schooling
  • Graduate from kindergarten healthy and with the knowledge, skills, and behaviors expected for success in 1st grade.


Go Deeper:

For more information on MDC and Great Expectations, contact: Cate Elander or visit Great Expecations website.