A child’s pre-k years are a time for discovery. Everything is new and every day is a chance to learn. This is the time that lifelong learning sets in, setting a child up for school and beyond. But when a child hadn’t had evenings with bedtime stories, puzzles and playtime with parents, they can start school without the essential curiosity and skills needed to learn. It can start having detrimental effects as early as kindergarten.
Seattle’s young professionals aren’t letting that happen on their watch. Our first-ever Connect for Good group, full of Emerging Leaders, had an an immersive experience in racial equity education, fundraising for participating nonprofits and volunteering for the Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP).
PCHP changes the lives of the children who participate—they’re 30 percentage points more likely to graduate than their peers. It also helps parents learn how to be their child’s first and best teacher. 83% of parents in the program exhibited positive behaviors that will help kids succeed in school, like providing focused attention and using encouraging language.
And it changed the Emerging Leaders in Connect for Good.
“It was a great learning experience, both to network with Emerging Leaders and learn with them about fundraising,” said Reetu Ghumman. A supervisor at the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center, she volunteered for the Chinese Information Services Center (CISC).
“It provided personal growth for me through the program and the tangible aspect of giving back,” said Kelly McKeown of Oasis Productions. She also volunteered with CISC, doing everything from fundraising and decorating for the big graduation day. (The CISC team liked it so much they had them leave the decorations up afterward!)
For Vanessa Ronquillo, the Emerging Leaders Volunteering Co-Chair, her experience with Kindering carried a special significance. “It was good for the soul. It drove home—growing up as an immigrant child— about giving back to the community, lowering the ladder down and helping people where I was.”
That’s what Parent-Child Home Program is all about—closing those opportunity gaps and bringing racial equity to early learners in King County. Sign up as an Emerging Leader to get the scoop on the next Connect for Good opportunity!