The mission of Raising Riley is to strengthen at-risk families and help prepare their children for lifelong learning through the combined efforts of staff, parents and community collaboration.
Raising Riley subscribes to a belief that healthy families and children are the most basic elements in any viable, productive society or community. Our program’s efforts are guided by the belief that “We’re here to do what’s best for families and children.” We keep this belief foremost in our minds to guide our decisions.
Raising Riley originated in 1999 from the vision of two great friends of children and supporters of this community: Dr. Russ Frey, a KSU professor, veterinarian, and Riley County Commissioner; and Senator Roger Reitz, a physician and Manhattan City Commissioner. Were it not for their efforts and persistence, Raising Riley would not have come to fruition.
Raising Riley is funded with Tobacco Settlement Dollars from an Early Childhood Block Grant through the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund. Our local program goal aligns with the Cabinet’s Blueprint for Early Education to build a strong foundation for children and families in Riley County through shared vision, community collaboration and public-private partnerships
Raising Riley Program components include:
- Child care subsidies to help parents pay for quality child care
- Child Developmental Screenings and Assessments
- Child Care Program Assessments
- Early Literacy Education through facility-based Story Time visits
- Family Engagement Activities
- Parent Education classes
- Professional development opportunities and consultations for community providers provided by early childhood professionals
- Collaboration with USD383 Early Learning Programs
- Summer Camp Kindergarten for children entering kindergarten in the fall
- StoryWalk® around the Riley County Health Department Campus