UWLC’s Women’s Leadership Council Allocates $47,000 Towards Funding for Early Literacy Programs
By Diana Nielander, Social Enterprise and Affinity Group Manager
United Way of Lake County’s Women’s Leadership Council Allocates $47,000 Towards Funding for Early Literacy Programs
LAKE COUNTY, IL (June 16, 2015) – United Way of Lake County’s (UWLC) Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) allocated $47,000 of its funding through its Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund to support four critical childhood literacy programs, that will ensure the foundation for strong and successful academic futures for Lake County’s most vulnerable children.
Directed by WLC members, the following programs will receive grants this summer:
$22,000 – B.E.S.T. Kindergarten Readiness Program
(In Partnership with B.E.S.T, a group of service providers that work together to improve the lives in Round Lake)
Funding will provide scholarships for a classroom of children ages 3-5 years old who would not otherwise have access to preschool.
$12,000 – Success By 6 – Kindergarten Countdown Camp
The funds will be used to execute the first year of this summer camp program to prepare children, in Waukegan, who have had no preschool experience for their new roles as Kindergarten students.
$9,000 – Success By 6 – Expand to Zion
The grant is for program expansion of Success By 6 into Zion for the first time, with baseline assessment and Early Learning Clubs for approximately 45 families in Zion.
$4,000 – Reading Success – Summer Enrichment Collaborative
(A partnership with Waukegan Public Library, Waukegan Park District, United Way and the Kohl Children’s Museum)
Funds will be used to provide scholarships for 10 Waukegan school children in need, to participate in a program to address summer learning loss.
As women united in Lake County, Little Kids, Big Futures is an initiative of the WLC Philanthropy Fund, established 17 months ago, to ensure that children living in Lake County’s most challenged communities are prepared for kindergarten and ready to succeed. Through the philanthropy fund, grants totaling $26,000 were distributed to three early literacy programs in Lake County last year, to support a Kindergarten Camp, a Summer Enrichment Program and a comprehensive tutoring program for Pre-K students in North Chicago.
“The year 2014-2015 has been an incredible year for WLC as our Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund has grown over 80%, which allowed us fund more programs this year”, says Tejal R. Vakharia, Chair of the Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund Committee. “WLC has grown and we are now over 70 women strong. Committed and growing each member of the WLC makes an annual gift of $1,000 or more and the first $500 of every member’s contribution goes into the Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund. Also, our signature fundraising event Power of the Purse netted $15,000 in 2014 which majorly contributed to the increase in the funding allocations”, she added.
Thinking ahead to 2015 and beyond, UWLC’s Women’s Leadership Council is positioned to continue mobilizing women through leadership and resource development to support critical early literacy programs that will change the educational futures for Lake County’s most vulnerable children.
To learn how you can get involved in UWLC’s Women’s Leadership Council and to know about the Little Kids, Big Futures Philanthropy Fund Guidelines, please contact Social Enterprise and Affinity Group Manager, Diana Mines Nielander, at Diana.Nielander@uwlakeco.org.