Great Expectations

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust’s Great Expectations initiative is investing between $30 and $40 million over 10 to 15 years to give Forsyth County’s children, regardless of income, the foundation necessary to succeed in school and life by the time they complete kindergarten.

When children start school ready to learn, they are more likely to succeed in school and beyond. Studies consistently show that investments in high-quality early childhood development pay off in terms of increased high school graduation rates, higher earnings, greater job security, and fewer encounters with the justice system. Yet, in Forsyth County, roughly half of all kindergarteners enter school unprepared in terms of early literacy.

Creating environments that support a child’s early development requires a broad range of investments targeted toward both children and the adults who care for them. While many families are able to provide the physical, mental and cognitive development experiences their children need, many other families (particularly those in poverty) are hard-pressed to create optimal environments for young children.

A list of our most up to date Great Expectations investments can be found here.


The goal of Great Expectations is to ensure that our young children — particularly those living in financially-disadvantaged families — meet age-appropriate developmental milestones during the first five years, are prepared for kindergarten, and leave kindergarten ready for learning and life success. As a result of the Trust’s 10- to 15-year Great Expectations investment, at least 90% of all financially disadvantaged children living in Forsyth County between the ages of zero and 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


Great Expectations is a huge undertaking and will require a long-term, comprehensive effort. To help ensure our success, the Trust will:

> forge partnerships with many key stakeholders, including families, providers, organizations and systems to achieve our shared goals.
> work with two, or even three, generations at once to ensure that parents and/or grandparent caregivers are better able to provide a healthy and nurturing environment for their young children.
> invest in an “Activating Agency” to coordinate and support the many partners and activities of Great Expectations.


Great Expectations currently focuses on five core priorities:

> Improvements in Child and Family Health
> Improvements in Self-Regulation and Executive Function among Children and Adults
> Improvements in Parent-Child Interactions and Adult Caregiving Capacity
> Supports for Children’s Oral Language and Vocabulary Development
> Building the Capacity of Parents, Providers, Communities, and Systems that Serve Young Children and Families

The Activation Plan for Great Expectations can be found here.

If you have any questions or want to discuss ways to get involved with Great Expectations, please contact our Poor and Needy Director, Joe Crocker at 336-397-5503, or via email,