Rhode Island Kids Count started in 1994 with the central goal of informing public policy with the best data on the well-being of Rhode Island children.
n What gets measured gets done
We have seen the power of understandable, clear data to sound the alarm bell and ignite action. Indicators that have moved in the right direction statewide include: increases in children's health insurance coverage; preschool and full-day kindergarten; and reductions in teen pregnancy, lead poisoning and the number of youths at the Training School. A key data-driven issue we are currently focusing on is increasing the number of children from families with low incomes reading at grade-level by the end of third grade.
n Relationships matter
None of our work to track and report on the well-being of Rhode Island's children would be possible without strong working relationships with state agency directors, elected officials and community leaders who work tirelessly on many of the issues that we cover.
n Connecting with the community matters
We don't just crank numbers, we make sure they are in the hands of decision-makers throughout the state. Each April, we release the "Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook" to a crowd of over 500, and present it to elected officials and community leaders to inform their policy decisions.
Once you set forth your core purpose, you have to stick to it. And in the case of a nonprofit, it requires not just an outstanding staff but the support of a board of directors, foundations, corporations and individuals in the community. •