Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Families Education :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio



According to Columbus City Schools data, 34 percent of Columbus children are behind when they enter kindergarten. We know that education is the foundation for lifelong success. That’s why the HNHF initiative supports a number of programs to improve educational outcomes focused around school readiness and mentorship.

Featured Programs

SPARK: Kindergarten Readiness

SPARK helps prepare children for kindergarten by working with families, schools and the community to engage up to 80 preschool age children per year. Through a home visit each month, children receive a new book, a lesson activity and educational supplies, and participate in learning opportunities — all with the goal of increasing the child’s success in school and life.

The program also helps develop parents as children’s first — and best — teachers. Ninety six percent of children were kindergarten ready after completing the program, compared to 32 percent before.

Mentoring Programs

Connecting ME (Mentorship Experiences) is a community-based mentoring program, created in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus, Columbus City Schools, Community Development for All People, Franklin International and Harmony Project. It supports group mentoring and then matches students one-on-one with a mentor.
More than 150 Nationwide Children’s employees are trained to mentor youth. In addition, the hospital has long supported Project Mentor. Nationwide Children’s volunteers mentor students in schools near the hospital weekly beginning in third grade. Volunteers support these students as they advance through middle and high school.  

Upward Bound Math and Science

Nationwide Children’s Upward Bound Math and Science aims to increase the number of students who pursue postsecondary education in math and science. Students will receive support through the academic year program, including mentor-tutoring and Saturday morning sessions with cultural and career exposure and hands-on learning. A six-week summer session will provide students with a college-going experience and expanded experiential-learning and work-study opportunities.



Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000