Contributions from Baxter will Expand Novel Kindergarten-Readiness Program for At-Risk Families
DEERFIELD, Ill., November 16, 2016 – United Way of Lake County will expand its high-impact program, Success By 6 Home Visiting, which provides at-risk children with early intervention services and healthcare to ensure they reach age-appropriate developmental milestones, with the support of a $25,000 contribution from Baxter International. The contribution will support a holistic approach to caring for families by providing a Home Visiting nurse and caseworker to perform safety assessments and wellness checks for more than 10 families.
More than 83 percent of Home Visiting families have a combined annual income of less than $29,999. Eligible families with infants and pre-school age children who are struggling with poverty, and who have limited access to health and community services, are assigned a Home Visiting caseworker and a nurse immediately upon their acceptance to the program. The consultation with Home Visiting staff is designed to improve developmental skills and healthcare needs that will prepare participating children for entry into school, and teach parents the skills to foster their child’s physical and intellectual growth.
“Baxter is dedicated to sustaining access to care in our local communities through engaging partnerships that meet critical health needs in a practical manner,” Alice Campbell, senior director, global community relations at Baxter, said. “This United Way program helps ensure these families receive access to quality care and services that will enhance the lives of both parent and child.”
Home Visiting nurses are registered nurses through the Lake County Health Department that will provide health assessments to identify health issues, provide health and nutrition education, assess activity levels, provide mental health screenings and monitor safety issues, as well as refer families to area dentists and other health services as needed. The caseworkers are professionals in social work, assessing each child’s mental and physical health, social and emotional development issues, and working with the children on evolving their academic and social skills to foster healthy development. The caseworkers also provide tools for parents to help keep their children engaged in academics in a creative manner at home.
Teachers report that children should be at least ‘in progress’ in key kindergarten readiness skills when starting school. When beginning the program, only 11 percent of children averaged ‘in progress’ in these skills, but by the end, 99 percent of children were ‘in progress’ or better in these skills.
Home Visiting is one of several Success By 6 initiatives designed to promote the healthy development of children to ensure they enter school ready to learn. The Success By 6 Program aims to improve both children’s cognitive skills, as well as their social and emotional development, with the understanding that a child’s ability to interact with peers and listen to direction is crucial to his or her learning trajectory and ability to read and write. Since 2006, the Success By 6 Program has expanded to reach multiple communities in Lake County, Illinois, including Waukegan, North Chicago, Round Lake and Zion.
“As a result of Baxter’s support, local low-income children will gain the skills they need to start kindergarten ready for success, and our highest-risk families will receive early intervention support that provides a stable foundation with lifelong benefits,” Kristi Long, president and CEO of United Way of Lake County, said. “Working with our partners, we can give our children the best chance to thrive in school so they can fulfill their dreams.”
In addition to the Success By 6 Program, Baxter has supported United Way of Lake County through various contributions for more than 40 years, impacting and improving overall access to care for hundreds of thousands of lives in Lake County.
Baxter is committed to saving and sustaining lives. Every day, Baxter employees strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people who depend on Baxter products, and in the communities where employees live and work. The company focuses on advancing three core areas: improving access to healthcare; fostering tomorrow’s innovation and serving its communities. Baxter works closely with public and private partners around the world to ensure people have access to the healthcare they need, to develop the next generation of innovators who will lead the way in advancing care, and to create long-lasting impact in Baxter’s communities.
About United Way
United Way of Lake County (UWLC) is preparing our children to succeed in a changing world by focusing on education and building safe and stable families. We are focusing on four key educational programs: Success By 6 Program—prepare for kindergarten; Reading Success Program—read at grade level; Stay in School Program— graduate high school; and the Safe and Stable Families Program—empowering families. UWLC is overcoming reading and educational barriers by reaching children, from preschool through high school, through these key programs. The overall effect and benefits are multiplied by the strong collaboration with agencies and our community partners. For more information, visit www.LIVEUNITEDlakecounty.org.