Women United is Lake County’s premiere women’s organization for strengthening the community through philanthropy, leadership and volunteerism while creating a meaningful sense of belonging. Just this month, it was announced that Women United will distribute $165,650 through its Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund to support seven critical early literacy programs that will ensure the foundation for strong and successful academic futures for Lake County’s most vulnerable children.
Women United members at United Way’s Premier Leadership Event on June 26, 2019. Pictured (left to right) Back row – Nancy Coolley, Mary Sue Welch, Tejal Vakharia, Wendy Warren, Karen Mahnke, Michelle Crombie, Karen Warrington, Glenda Abbott, Julie Gordon, Middle row – Diana Nielander, Marilyn Mines, Sami Porter, Front row – Judy Kotsiopolous, Monica Burmeister, Sharlene Abbott, Ann Maine.
The following programs will receive funding:
$65,000 – United Way of Lake County’s Summer Kindergarten Readiness Program (KCC)
Beach Park, North Chicago, Round Lake & Waukegan
Provide children, who have never been to preschool, with summer learning opportunities and materials for kindergarten readiness.
$32,250 – United Way of Lake County’s Home Visiting program
North Chicago, Waukegan & Zion
Home Visiting provides in-home early intervention via phone and video for families (with infants and preschool-age kids) struggling with poverty and who have limited access to health and community services. Funding will support high-risk families in North Chicago, Waukegan and Zion with their most critical needs. The collaboration will provide this essential service to 20 more families.
$25,000 – B.E.S.T. Pre-K Program
Funding will continue to allow this Round Lake Park District program to provide 20 scholarships for children who otherwise would not have access to preschool. With this opportunity, children will be prepared for kindergarten and ready to learn.
$15,000 – United Way of Lake County’s Better Together program
Green Bay Early Childhood Center in North Chicago
A weekly mail-in program for young children (birth to three years) and their caregiver where they receive resources and materials to learn, play and develop school readiness skills together.
$15,000 – Mano a Mano
Funding will launch the Healthy Kids/Healthy Families Initiative which will expand literacy programs for families with 3-5 year olds through home visits.
$8,000 – United Way of Lake County’s Early Learning Clubs
Waukegan Public Library
Early Learning Clubs provide bi-lingual opportunities for children to learn basic skills while their parents are empowered to be their child’s first teacher. Curbside pick-up will connect more children to Early Learning Clubs.
$5,000 – HUGS/North Preschool Partnership
HUGS (Heroines United for Giving and Support) is a community engagement initiative of Women United where members embrace a school, project or community with the resources and care it needs to succeed. Last year, Women United’s HUGS Committee started a new partnership with North Preschool in Waukegan to support reading in schools, special events, family programming, parent workshops and other curricula to enhance learning programs for the 140 students.
Women United of Lake County is a powerful network of more than 100 women who enable each other to leverage our passions, ideas, expertise and resources to ensure children living in Lake County’s most vulnerable communities are prepared for kindergarten and ready to succeed. Women United is a critical community within United Way of Lake County.
Thinking ahead to 2021 and beyond, Women United’s philanthropy is poised to continue to grow and mobilize community-minded women through leadership and resource development in order to expand its impact on early childhood literacy.
To learn how you can get involved in Women United of Lake County and to know about the Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund Guidelines, please contact Affinity Group Manager, Diana Nielander, at Diana.Nielander@uwlakeco.org.
For more information about Women United, visit: www.LIVEUNITEDlakecounty.org/womenunited