Since 2014, Women United has allocated over a half a million dollars 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 continuing our blog series that takes a deeper dive into each of the programs receiving funding this year, thanks to Little Kids, Big Futures. Next up, Early Learning Clubs in Waukegan.
Early Learning Clubs (ELCs) are one-shot two-hour sessions designed to ignite the spark of learning that occurs naturally between parents and children. Everybody comes to an upbeat, lively session held at the Waukegan Public Library and discovers what any adult who takes care of children can do, while the kids are very young, to make sure they’ll be ready when it’s time for kindergarten. They receive creative and fun tools to teach their children things such as colors, shapes, counting, recognizing letters, and even reading skills.
“If you ask me how often you should work with your child I will tell you every day. When walking outside, identify colors with your child. Together with your kids, think of words that rhyme with items while grocery shopping. At the breakfast table, help your kids find shapes, letters and colors on the cereal box. Every day is filled with simple and fun teachable moments,” said Laurie, part-time preschool teacher in Wadsworth who volunteers her time to teach an ELC in Waukegan.
Women United has a deep affinity for the Waukegan community, providing resources and funding to increase the service available for children and families.
“Women United was excited to provide $8,000 in funding to bring Early Learning Clubs within the heart of the community, at the Waukegan Library,” said Diana Nielander, Affinity Group Manager. “It not only provides a great social environment where families naturally congregate, but it gets families connected early to books and reading.”
Women United strengthens the community through philanthropy, leadership and volunteerism while creating a meaningful sense of belonging. Through this powerful network of 100 women, we leverage our ideas, expertise, resources and passions to ensure children living in Lake County’s most vulnerable communities are prepared for kindergarten and ready to succeed.
Interested in learning more about Women United? Join members on August 22 at 6 – 7:30 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 or visit our event page on Facebook.