Women United is Lake County’s premiere women’s organization for strengthening the community through philanthropy, leadership and volunteerism while creating a meaningful sense of belonging. Just this month, it was announced that Women United will distribute $148,000 through its Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund to support six critical early literacy programs that will ensure the foundation for strong and successful academic futures for Lake County’s most vulnerable children.
Women United members toured the B.E.S.T Pre-K Program’s Child Development Center at the Round Lake Area Park District to see their funding in action! From Left, Joan Ellis, Judy Armstrong, WU member, Beth Krenzer, WU Member, Lynn Morrissey, Jeanne Kearby, WU member, Jennifer Sparrow, Amy Pruitt.
The following programs will receive funding:
$65,000 – Success By 6 – Kindergarten Countdown Camp in North Chicago, Round Lake & Waukegan (Women United’s signature funded program)
Kindergarten Countdown Camp (KCC) ensures that children who are entering kindergarten with little or no preschool experience get the basic skills they need to start school prepared. This initiative has proven to be successful and, each year, it is tweaked and improved so children begin to build the greatest possible foundation before they start school in the fall. This year, 120 children will attend KCC.
$30,000 – Success By 6 – Home Visiting in North Chicago, Waukegan & Zion
Home Visiting provides in-home early intervention for families — with infants and preschool-age kids — struggling with poverty and who have limited access to health and community services. Funding will support high-risk families in North Chicago, Waukegan and Zion with their most critical needs. Women United increased funding by 30% over last year because it is such an essential service for the most challenged families in Lake County.
$25,000 – B.E.S.T. Pre-K Program
Funding will continue to allow this Round Lake Park District program to provide 20 scholarships for children who otherwise would not have access to preschool. With this opportunity, children will be prepared for kindergarten and ready to learn.
$15,000 – Better Together – Green Bay Early Childhood Center (GBECC)
This early learning program focuses on family engagement and building learning skills for children 0 – 3 years old by providing individualized attention to families. Funding will support 36 sessions. Each session will serve 10 – 12 families.
$8,000 – Early Learning Club – Waukegan Public Library
Early Learning Club provides children entering kindergarten with the basic skills they need to be ready and able to learn and empowers parents to be their child’s first teacher. The library will hold 1 – 2 early learning classes monthly.
$5,000 – HUGS North Preschool – Waukegan
HUGS (Heroines United for Giving and Support) is a community engagement initiative of Women United where members embrace a school, project or community with the resources and care it needs to succeed. This year, Women United’s HUGS Committee started a new partnership with North Preschool in Waukegan to support reading in schools, special events, family programming, parent workshops and other curricula to enhance learning programs for the 140 students.
Thinking ahead to 2020 and beyond, Women United of Lake County’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 literacy.
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 Affinity Group Manager, Diana Nielander, at Diana.Nielander@uwlakeco.org or plan on attending their next Wine and Learn on August 22 at 6 p.m. in Libertyville. Click here for more information about prospective member events such as Wine & Learns.
For more information about Women United, visit: