Here are photos recapping our UWLC Executive Forum held in October 2017 that included a panel discussion on technology’s role in business innovation.
To view the full photo album from our Executive Forum at Independence Grove, click here.
On Wednesday, October 18th, United Way of Lake County hosted an Executive Forum at Independence Grove in Libertyville. Over 120 business executives and community members gathered to hear from a panel of industry leaders sharing insights on evolving technologies that have led to innovation in their industries.
Pictured from left to right: Vice Admiral (ret) Philip Cullom, Chief Innovation Officer (2014-2017), U.S. Navy, Jeff McRae, SVP – Strategy & Strategic Ventures, Allstate, Glenda Abbott, Director – Quality Assurance, Diagnostics Division, Abbott, Alex Wuerful, VP – Global Marketing and Commercial Operations, AbbVie and our Moderator, Dave Hoyt, Corporate VP, Daugherty Business Solutions.
Our objective for this event was to expand and inspire thinking about the technology and innovation evolving now and the development of our youth critical for tomorrow. Topics discussed included: Internet of Things (IoT), Digital Engagement, Big Data/Analytics and Cognitive Computing in various fields.
United Way’s Board Chairman, Andrew Warrington, shared how United Way of Lake County has broken from its traditional business model to shift its focus on developing programs to disrupt the cycle of poverty in Lake County, IL. As a result, United Way has developed more than a dozen unique and meaningful programs to address formerly unmet community needs. To learn more about our programs, click here.
Our Better Together Program has started back up this fall at Green Bay Elementary School in North Chicago. We are thrilled to continue our Better Together blog series to give our supporters a first-hand look into this program and the children and families it serves. For our first post, we asked our Success By 6 Initiative Coordinator, Rosa Herrera, to give some history on this program and why it was developed in North Chicago.
United Way of Lake County’s Better Together Program was developed to increase services for North Chicago families with children birth to 3-years of age. Our Better Together Initiative started in the Fall of 2016, in a joint collaboration of Green Bay Early Childhood Center, our Women’s Leadership Council and our Success By 6 Program.
Success By 6’s goal in North Chicago is to improve key school readiness skills and improve parent engagement in learning for children ages birth to age five. With the implementation of Better Together in North Chicago we engage the child’s “special adult” to proactively explore and implement tools and techniques to become their child’s first teacher. In collaboration of the child’s “special adult” we help children develop age-appropriate social, emotional, and intellectual skills needed to begin school ready to learn.
Illinois Report Card (NC-SD 187) 2015-2016 demonstrates over 80% of its student population as low income students. While North Chicago faces many challenges, Better Together seeks to provide equitable opportunities to increase school readiness and lifelong success. We strive to create an inclusive environment where families feel comfortable and safe to support their child’s early development.
At Better Together you will find families who live in North Chicago and on the Great Lakes Naval Base. A camaraderie is formed as families understand they share a common goal of wanting their child to accomplish their dreams. We recognize that every child is unique with an array of strengths and abilities and meet the child and their families where they are at. At Better Together we understand the uniqueness of each individual; respect the diversity in families and children; and recognize that children are best supported and understood in the context of culture, family, community and society.
The families of Better Together are guided to create better outcomes for their child’s growth and development. Both adults and children develop a sense of belonging, self-worth, and ownership as they contribute to the group’s efforts, as well as learning how to effectively express themselves amongst others. By sharing their experiences they are connected and encouraged by other families who face similar circumstances.
Our commitment in Better Together is to create an environment where parents and children are exposed to learning tools they can use in everyday life. In every session we engage children on a variety of levels, whether it’s through interest-driven activities or encouraging them to learn a new skill; the opportunities are endless. Exposing them to such experiences promotes social, emotional and intellectual skills of children.
Through the application of a variety of materials such as, books, toys, and pictures, that are culturally responsive to our classroom environment families see themselves portrayed in the larger context of their community. By creating a solid foundation in which families understand that they play a critical role in stimulating their child’s growth and development, we carve a path to future success. Ultimately, with this solid foundation, Better Together children will have a greater chance of achieving their education and lifelong goals. Preparing them to become our future workforce, citizenry and leaders of our communities.
In October, we will share a mother’s perspective on the program. To view our past Better Together blog posts, click here.
United Way of Lake County is excited to participate in a national effort to engage and mobilize Americans in our political process by helping to register over a hundred thousand voters across the country on September 26, 2017, National Voter Registration Day.
First held in 2012 for that year’s presidential election, National Voter Registration Day has become a 50-state holiday where thousands of organizations and volunteers organize to ensure our family, friends, and neighbors are registered to vote.
Have you moved — even just across town — since the last election? Have you changed your name? Will you turn 18 by Election Day? Are you a newly naturalized citizen? Have you not voted in a while?
In all of these cases you may need to register or update your voter registration in order to make your voice heard at the ballot box this November. Click here or visit the participating locals below to register to vote.
Why register in 2017? States, cities, counties and towns across the country have big elections this fall. Primaries for next year’s state and national elections are just a few months away. National Voter Registration Day is the perfect opportunity to get involved no matter what party you support or which issues matter most to you.
We are thrilled to share the last post in our Waukegan Kindergarten Countdown Camp (KCC) summer blog series. Here to wrap things is our Success By 6 Program Manager, Edna Galvan, sharing her reflection of camp this summer at Lyon Elementary School.
Whenever I had the opportunity to visit camp, I would help the teachers in the classrooms with anything that they needed.
For me, the most memorable part about Kindergarten Countdown Camp has been getting to know the students who are attending. Each student is unique and they all have fun personalities. At the beginning of camp, there are some students who are timid or emotional because they miss their parents and it is great to see them break out of their shell as they start to get comfortable. In the short period of time that we host Kindergarten Countdown Camp, we become attached to the students that it is always sad to say goodbye at the end of the summer.
All four of our teachers for our Kindergarten Countdown Camp in Waukegan have been phenomenal. They have worked so hard all throughout camp to ensure that their students gain knowledge and confidence so that they will be better prepared for kindergarten this fall. We are so thankful for all of their hard work and dedication this summer.
It is very clear to me that Kindergarten Countdown Camp has been making an impact on the students that are attending. At the very beginning of camp, there were a number of students who did not know how to write their name or even know how to hold/use a pair of scissors. Thanks to our awesome teachers, I have seen the confidence that the students have gained within these last couple of weeks in those key readiness skills and along with others such as counting, letter recognition, etc.
I believe that education is the key to success. Education gives anyone the opportunity to learn, grow, inspire, and find the true you. Education is the foundation of everything and gives everyone the opportunity to have a bright future.
We are thrilled to share the next post in our Kindergarten Countdown Camp (KCC) summer blog series that kicked off in Waukegan on June 19th. Up next, we have Suzanne Neumann, a volunteer Reading Buddy, sharing her reflection of the past several weeks of camp:
I am a volunteer Reading Buddy. This is my second summer participating in KCC; I also was a Reading Success tutor for two years.
What I’ve found to be the most memorable is the warm reception volunteers get from teachers and students. There is nothing like walking into a classroom and being greeted with smiles and excitement! The children’s faces just light up–it is so energizing! Volunteers know they are wanted and appreciated. How many other environments provide that?
I’ve been so impressed with how positive and enthusiastic teachers and aides are. Though little kids are adorable, working with them all day requires you to be upbeat and engaged all the time, which can be draining. Staff always are up to the challenge! I’ve also admired the young adults who serve as classroom assistants. They are so patient and helpful, and the children love them. Having someone closer to your own age to work with and look up to is very special.
I definitely think KCC is having a positive effect on the children that attend. They get a positive introduction to school–think how great it is to not have those first-day jitters on the opening day of kindergarten! These kids know what to expect and how to behave, which is a tremendous boost. They also make up some academic ground so that they don’t start out behind children who have had the advantage of preschool. Giving children skills and self-confidence is priceless.
To me, education is the great leveler in our society. It shouldn’t matter where you live or how much money your family has. Education should challenge every child’s mind and help them earn the skills they need to become healthy, happy contributors to society. I know the real world isn’t always fair, and low-income families don’t have the advantages middle- and upper-income people may take for granted. That’s why programs such as KCC, Success By 6, and Reading Success are so vital. They help children to start out on a positive path in the early grades, when attitudes toward self and life are formed. Starting with a positive, solid base helps to set kids up for success!
We are thrilled to share the next post in our Kindergarten Countdown Camp (KCC) summer blog series that kicked off in Waukegan on June 19th. Up next, we’d like to introduce Ashley Latz, a Waukegan educator, sharing her experience as a KCC teacher this summer.
My name is Ashley Latz. I have been a Waukegan educator for the past 10 years. I taught kindergarten in Waukegan for 9 years and I will return to teaching in the fall as an Instructional Coach. This summer has been an absolute joy co-teaching kindergarten alongside Susie Feldman, for United Way’s Kindergarten Countdown Camp at Lyon Elementary School.
I am most passionate about serving the children in the Waukegan community. My main goal as an educator is to create an environment that is child-centered, where children feel welcome, safe, and truly loved for the individuals that they are. By recognizing each child as their individual self, recognizing their strengths and supporting their weaknesses, I feel I can foster their love of lifelong learning. I pride myself in being a lifelong learner and I have dedicated myself to my work and to the children and community that I serve.
Most of the children came to us with little to no kindergarten readiness skills. Most have never been in school, let alone away from their parents for a long period of time. Needless to say, we had many tears on the first day of camp. Just a few short weeks later, the excitement on the children’s faces when they arrive to camp is a reminder of how far they’ve come in just a few short weeks. We are greeted with big smiles, and even bigger hugs! The most memorable part of my involvement with Kindergarten Countdown Camp is the relationships I’ve built with the children. Their future success is important to me and I am happy that I got to be a small part of their educational journey.
I feel this program has had a profound impact on the children that it served. The children are excited to come to school and can’t wait to find out what our activities will be each day. I have seen improvements in their social interactions with peers and adults, handwriting skills, ability to recognize letters and sounds, number sense and counting, book and print awareness, cooperative play within a small group, ability to attend to an activity for an extended period of time, and the ability to travel to new and unfamiliar places during our Friday field trips. I know because of the help of this program, they will be well prepared for kindergarten in the fall.
The United Way has done so much for the children in our community. Their support extends far beyond Kindergarten Countdown Camp. Their work with Waukegan Public Schools can also be seen throughout the school year. From student interns to community volunteers, they have truly found a way to work together with community partners to help support and prepare our children for success in the future. I was fortunate enough to see this commitment during my work with the Kindergarten Countdown Camp. A special thank you to all of those involved in bringing these wonderful programs to our community and thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.
To support more programs, like Kindergarten Countdown Camp, visit www.LIVEUNITEDlakecounty.org/give.
We are thrilled to share the next post in our Kindergarten Countdown Camp (KCC) summer blog series that kicked off in Waukegan on June 19th. Up next, we’d like to introduce Michael Glassberg, a KCC volunteer, sharing his reflection of the camp over the past several weeks:
My role at camp has been assisting the two main teachers, Ms. Rubio and Mr. Molina with their lessons in a bilingual classroom. Although I do not teach the material to the students, I will roam around the classroom while the students are doing activities to help them solidify their knowledge and make sure they all have good behavior in the classroom.
My most memorable experience thus far at Kindergarten Countdown Camp has been playing with the children at the playground every day. Whether it is helping a kid across the monkey bars or playing tag with the class, every day is a new adventure.
Although every student and teacher has affected me in their own unique way, the one the student that has affected me the most is Erick. He has taught me a lot about determination. On the first day of camp, Erick spent the entire day crying about missing his parents. Although I tried comforting him, his crying persisted for hours. Although he obviously felt uncomfortable, he still continued coming to class. Now, every day I can’t wait to see his smile every morning due to his eagerness to learn.
Kindergarten Countdown Camp definitely has a huge effect on the children that attend. In the brief couple of weeks that we have been together, I have seen vast improvements in the writing and math skills of all the students attending.
To me, education is the key to getting ahead in life. Without it, others that have received an education will pass you up. That’s why I’m so proud to be giving a basic education to all of these wonderful children in the class.
Up next for our Kindergarten Countdown Camp (KCC) summer blog series that kicked off in Waukegan on June 19th, we have Rosa Herrera, our Success By 6 Initiative Coordinator, sharing her reflections of KCC and its impact on the children that attend.
Our Kindergarten Countdown Camp (KCC) is in full swing! Kindergarten is an important first step for students to have a successful educational career and KCC aims to prepare students with core skills needed. Children learn the application of language, fine motor, gross motor, social and emotional skills needed to create a smooth transition to Kindergarten. We have seen an immense growth amongst our students thanks to the support of teachers, volunteers and interns.
KCC teachers have played an instrumental role in creating an environment that stimulates growth and development. They instruct students on foundational skills such as letter recognition, counting and rhyming to constructing positive social relationships that fosters community building and interpersonal development. Their implementation and application of games, toys, art, music, amongst others complements the learning of literacy and mathematical skills. Their passion and love for teaching is demonstrated each day; offering enthusiasm while encouraging children to explore with curiosity.
The students’ growth is evident and is displayed in areas such as writing, counting, and letter recognition. Everyday students demonstrate growth by reciting the alphabet, recognizing primary shapes and colors, writing their name, and many more. There is an increased participation and involvement from all students leading them towards grasping key skills needed to becoming successful kindergartners. Ultimately, with this solid foundation, current KCC students will have a greater chance of achieving their education and lifelong goals. Preparing them to become our future workforce, citizenry and future leaders.
Up next for our Kindergarten Countdown Camp (KCC) summer blog series that kicked off in Waukegan on June 19th, we have Karla Medina, our Community Impact intern who has been spending her summer working in a bilingual classroom at camp.
My role at Camp entails working directly with the bilingual class and guiding the students throughout the day in our different activities. If a student is having trouble with a certain activity I will give them my attention and assess what the student most needs while working with them one on one to improve their skills.
So far, the most memorable part has been when we use fun and catchy songs to learn to count. The kids wiggle, wave their hands, and dance along while practicing their numbers and there’s always giggles!
All the students have been amazing and have a huge place in my heart! It’s especially rewarding when they give you an unexpected hug and look up at you with a bright smile or tell you something more about themselves or their family. One of my favorite things as well is when I might be passing by and they call out to me wanting to show me their work. When that happens, I can tell that they are proud of what they’ve accomplished and I love that they’d want to share that with me. I’m honored to see their progress and join them in their journey in preparation for kindergarten.
I can tell that Kindergarten Countdown Camp has a significant impact on the children that attend. During the first week of classes I took part in performing initial assessments to measure what the children came in already knowing. Having taken part of that, and working personally with the children, I have noticed huge improvement and growth of their skills.
To me, education is an essential right to be guided in developing skills, abilities, and knowledge to be successful and prepared for life.