Lizandro is 5 years old and is getting ready to start kindergarten in the fall. He is excited to ride the bus and meet new friends. Lizandro is already planning for his future and has a dream to, one day, become a swim instructor and help kids learn how to swim.
Lizandro lives with his two brothers and his parents in North Chicago. The family takes part in United Way of Lake County’s Success By 6 Home Visiting Program which delivers early intervention services to the homes of families with infants and preschool-age children who are struggling with poverty.
Poverty is particularly detrimental in early childhood in terms of a child’s educational and developmental outcomes. Disadvantaged children do not progress at the same rate as their more advantaged peers. These early differences expand as children progress through school and achievement gaps widen over time. And, on average, children living in low-income families or neighborhoods have poorer health outcomes.
Poverty is affecting a growing number of children in Lake County. Poverty rates are highest in North Chicago – where Lizandro lives.
Lizandro’s background is not unique…but his success story is.
Lizandro is prepared to start kindergarten ready to succeed. Through instruction from his Home Visiting caseworker, Lizandro learned his ABCs, colors, how to write his name, how to count 10 objects – all essential kindergarten readiness skills.
And Lizandro’s mom better understands how to support Lizandro’s learning. The family reads each day – their favorite book to read together is Monsters, Inc.
Lizandro and his family are also improving their health. The family’s Home Visiting nurse, Josephine, works to identify, treat and manage the health care needs of the family.
Lizandro and his two brothers are up to date on their immunizations.
Josephine monitored the Lizando’s mom’s health during pregnancy and continues to monitor the healthy development of the baby. She coaches them on nutrition and portion sizes and they are working together to develop new healthy eating habits.
Lizandro’s family also better understands the importance of physical activity and they are finding new ways to stay active as a family. They love walking to the park to play soccer together.
Home Visiting offers high-quality early interventions designed to combat the factors that threaten positive physical and academic development. These early interventions have great potential to generate cumulative benefits that support a successful life path.
Through Home Visiting we are able to give Lizandro the best chance to succeed in life so that he can reach his dream.