The GrowSmart Story
Virginia Beach GrowSmart is the City of Virginia Beach’s early childhood education initiative. GrowSmart was created in 2009 when the former “Ready to Learn” team of the Virginia Beach Public Libraries formed a strong partnership with the Virginia Beach Health Department’s Healthy Families Virginia Beach program. Under the new name of GrowSmart, a team of practitioners, led by a full-time GrowSmart Coordinator, came together regularly to assess the state of early childhood in our city and region and to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated local early childhood system.
The GrowSmart office was strategically moved from the Department of Public Libraries to the Department of Economic Development in 2011. This important organizational shift represents our City’s understanding that early childhood education is an important economic issue. Workforce development begins in the years prior to kindergarten, when brain development occurs most rapidly. By helping our youngest children to grow up healthy and ready to succeed in school, we do what is right not just for our citizens, but for our future economic vitality.
Our Work Virginia Beach GrowSmart exists to promote and improve the healthy development, school readiness, and reading proficiency of young children, ages 0-8. If you are a parent or caregiver of a young child, please visit our “Parents” page for resources and information on raising healthy, happy, and school-ready children. In addition to providing resources for parents and families, GrowSmart offers programming to ensure the availability of high-quality early education and to promote reading proficiency by third grade.