Women United is Lake County’s premier women’s organization for strengthening the community through philanthropy, leadership, and volunteerism while creating a meaningful sense of belonging. In May 2023, it was announced that Women United will distribute $186,000 through its Little Kids, Big Futures philanthropy fund to support nine critical early education programs that will ensure the foundation for strong and successful academic futures for Lake County’s children.
The following programs will receive funding:
$84,000 – United Way of Lake County’s Kindergarten Countdown Camp (KCC)
Gurnee, North Chicago, Round Lake & Waukegan
Funding will support a summer learning program for 135 incoming kindergarteners with little to no preschool experience. Teaches social norms and builds key skills such as shapes, letters and counting.
$26,500 – B.E.S.T. Pre-K Program
Funding will support a bilingual early learning program for children, birth to three years old, with a focus on early literacy, healthy development and parent engagement.
$20,000 – United Way of Lake County’s Better Together program
Green Bay Early Childhood Center in North Chicago
This early learning program is for children birth to three years old and their caregivers. Each family receives resources and materials to learn, play and develop school readiness skills together. Funding will support 36 sessions. Each session will serve 10 – 12 families.
$15,000 – The Formative Years
Funding will support the Family First Center of Lake County, which will provide bi-weekly sessions for parents and 46 children, birth to five years old, on basic skills and preschool enrichment activities to prepare them for school.
$15,000 – Mano a Mano
Funding will support the Healthy Kids/Healthy Families initiative, which will expand literacy programs for families with children ages three to five years old through home visits.
$12,500 – Affirm Christian Leadership Academy
Funding will support the Early Literacy Leaders program that provides an academic foundation for girls; tailored to meet individual deficits and close the gap before kindergarten.
$9,000 –Mother’s Trust Foundation
Funding will provide scholarships for children to increase access to early educational experiences and services, enrichment, and extracurricular programming including daycare and summer camp.
$8,000 – Early Learning Club Center
Waukegan Public Library
Funding will support an Early Learning Club Center, year round, designed to guide parents on being their child’s first teacher. Funding will support programs in English and Spanish.
$5,000 – HUGS Women United
Funding will support a community engagement initiative of Women United where members embrace the community with the resources and care it needs to succeed. This initiative will continue to provide Early Learning Club sessions at Whispering Oaks Apartments.
Women United of Lake County is a powerful network of more than 135 women who enable each other to leverage our passions, ideas, expertise, and resources to ensure children living in Lake County are prepared for kindergarten and ready to succeed. Women United is a critical community within United Way of Lake County.
Thinking ahead to 2024 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 education.
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 our Senior Manager of Women United & Donor Engagement, Jessica Ceisel, at Jessica.Ceisel@uwlakeco.org.
For more information about Women United, visit: www.LIVEUNITEDlakecounty.org/womenunited