May 2021 e-Newsletter
Women United Allocates $850k in Seven Years to Early Education Programs
Women United is proud to announce that they will distribute $166k in grants this year through their Little Kids, Big Futures philanthropy fund to support eight critical early education programs. Since 2014, Women United has distributed $850k to worthy nonprofits that ensure children living in Lake County’s most vulnerable communities are prepared for kindergarten and ready to succeed.
Read more about this year’s grantees and what the funds will support.
Provide Students with the Supplies They Need to Succeed
We have partnered with Waukegan Public Schools to provide students from low-income families with new school supplies; preparing them for their academic studies, building their self-esteem, and setting them up for success.
Now through June 28, we will be collecting online donations. You can sponsor a student for just $20. You also have the opportunity to purchase supplies from our wish list and drop them off curbside in Waukegan. Before school starts this fall, we will distribute backpacks full of supplies to the families that need them most.
Learn how to get involved and help us spread the word.
United Way of Lake County Recognized for Its Work Supporting Early School Success
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CLGR) announced that it has named Waukegan, Illinois as a 2021 Bright Spot Community for United Way of Lake County’s work supporting early school success during the pandemic. Waukegan is the only community in Illinois to be recognized. CLGR is specifically highlighting communities that developed exemplary or innovative responses to the pandemic.
When the pandemic hit, United Way of Lake County recognized the critical need to address learning loss and social isolation, especially for students of color, and responded by adapting our Success By 6 early education programs and Reading Success literacy program to deliver virtually. Reading Success also expanded to include kindergarten students, exposing them to the basics of reading in preparation for early school success. Additionally, a new Bright by Text offering was launched to provide expert coaching and more support for parents at their fingertips. To ensure access to remote learning, United Way distributed 450 Chromebooks to Waukegan families in need.
Register for Kindergarten Countdown Camp
Kindergarten Countdown Camp is a free summer program for children entering kindergarten this fall who have little to no preschool experience. Students in the Round Lake and Gurnee school districts have access to self-paced learning and supplemental materials. Students in the Waukegan school district have a choice between hybrid learning (a mix of in-person and remote) or fully virtual learning.
Interested? Fill out our registration form at the link below.
Charla Con el 211 – Chat with 211
United Way of Lake County is pleased to launch a new show soon to spread the word about 211 to our Latinx community. Sara Martinez, our 211 Ambassador, will interview various Latinx leaders from across Lake County about what 211 is, how 211 can help connect people to help, and how 211 has impacted the work they do in the community.
Follow us on Facebook so you’re notified when we launch the series in the coming weeks!
Community Connections: Waukegan Exchange Club
Earlier this month, the Waukegan Exchange Club invited us in to share an update with its members on United Way of Lake County’s work during the pandemic. Dennis Burke who leads Community Partnerships presented an overview of our education programs and community partnerships in Waukegan, including how we have adapted our early education and literacy programs to continue to support families and students this past year.
Our 211 helpline has continued to be a lifeline for families and has answered more than 3x the average number of calls during this time. The Waukegan community represents nearly a third of the total contacts to 211. The top needs requested are rent payment assistance, utility assistance, food pantries, homeless shelters, and low-income/subsidized housing. A real-time snapshot of community-specific needs and other reports can be found on the 211LakeCounty.org website or visit UWLC.211Counts.org.
If your organization is interested in learning more about our work and how to get involved, contact Dennis Burke at (847) 775-1014 or Dennis.Burke@uwlakeco.org.
Sign Up for Bright by Text
United Way of Lake County has partnered with Bright by Text to provide parents and caregivers of children prenatal to age 8 with information on child development plus local events and resources. We encourage you to try out this free service, and you can stop at any time.
When you sign up, you will receive text messages in English or Spanish that are specific to your child’s age and include local community resources targeted by your zip code. Bright by Text messages include research-based content on child development and learning, as well as information about valuable community services and events happening right here in Lake County.
To sign up, text “UWLC” to 274448; or by clicking below.