Since 2014, Women United has allocated $370,000 in grants through its Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund to support early literacy programs across Lake County. The Fund gives members the opportunity to allocate their own money to the specific programs they believe in.
Today, we are introducing a new blog series taking a deeper dive into each of the programs receiving funding this year, thanks to Little Kids, Big Futures. First up, Better Together in North Chicago.
Better Together is an early learning program, that takes place at Green Bay Early Childhood Center in North Chicago, with a focus on family engagement and building new skills for children 0-3 years old by providing individualized attention to families. Women United has supported this program since 2016, both financially and through volunteer efforts, to create a community hub for North Chicago families.
Better Together classroom and play area at Green Bay Early Childhood Center furnished by the in-kind and volunteer support of Women United.
The program is led by a Master Teacher who develops the curriculum each semester focused on developing key readiness skills and educating parents on the important role they play in their child’s physical and cognitive development.
“[Better Together gives the] opportunity for caregivers and children to be in a rich, safe, and stimulating environment that encourages interactions, exploration, and learning. It is a program that only has yeses. [This program] demonstrates how much more children can learn and accomplish when they are with their “special” grown-up. Learning Games, a Family Engagement Curriculum in English and Spanish, continues the positive learning connections from school to home,” said Sharon Lichtenstein, Better Together Master Teacher.
Women United has a deep affinity for the North Chicago community, providing resources and funding to increase the service available for North Chicago children and families.
“We are thankful to have worked within the North Chicago community over the past few years,” says Diana Nielander, Affinity Group Manager of Women United. “We loved getting into Green Bay Early Childhood Center and providing some of the resources needed to enhance the children’s learning experiences. We are proud to be able to continue our presence there now and provide additional funding for exceptional programs. We believe that these layered services have the biggest impact.”
Since its inception, Better Together has served 509 children. Women United has a huge hand in Better Together’s growth and success.
Interested in learning more about Women United? Join members Tuesday, August 21 at 6 p.m. in Libertyville for a Wine & Learn event, an informal gathering for prospective members to learn more about what it means to be a member and what Women United does. Email Janice.Scarbalis@uwlakeco.org to RSVP and we will send you the exact address of the meeting location.