Alma is seven years old. Alma, her parents, and her three siblings live in Waukegan, Illinois. Alma is an A student. And she LOVES to read books. When she brings home a new book, she will read it several times to her two younger sisters.

In 2010, Alma and her family qualified for United Way of Lake County’s Home Visiting Program. Home Visiting delivers early intervention services to the homes of families with infants and preschool-age children who are struggling with poverty and who have limited access to health and community services.

Alma was three, and her sister was six months old, when her family was matched with a Home Visiting caseworker and nurse. From November 2010 to June 2012 the Home Visiting caseworker worked with Alma on developing the academic and social skills to prepare her for Kindergarten. The caseworker also coached Alma’s mom on the skills needed to foster healthy development. The Home Visiting nurse worked with Alma and her family to identify, treat, and manage health care needs before they became a crisis.

Alma remembers when her Home Visiting caseworker, Diana, would come to their home. “One day we practiced learning shapes by cooking pancakes in lots of fun, different shapes.” Alma still asks for fun shapes every time she makes pancakes with her mom.

Home Visiting gave Alma the solid foundation she needed to succeed in school. And, her mom adds, “Alma used to be very shy. Home Visiting gave Alma confidence about her abilities.”

Alma continues to excel in school and her confidence continues to shine. Alma’s teacher says that Alma is a model for her peers. “She is eager to learn and raises her hand for everything!” Alma is excited to start second grade.

Alma’s dream when she grows up is to swim with dolphins.

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