On December 3, Young Leaders and Women United members volunteered at Easterseals SouthWest Florida, assisting with outside beautification projects. Attendees also had a chance to tour the campus, purchase art created by adults in their Art Initiative Program and learn about their strategic partnership with United Way Suncoast in early learning.
That partnership includes funding for The Lily School for Child Development, a licensed inclusive early childhood and education program serving children 6 weeks to 5 years old. The first few years of a child’s life are critical for building their brains, hearts and minds, especially for children dealing with developmental challenges. Without the crucial building blocks provided by early learning programs like this, children can be behind before they even enter kindergarten. The reality is that 88% of first graders who are reading below grade level will continue to read below grade level in fourth grade. Fourth graders who struggle to read are 4x more likely to drop out of school as compared to proficient readers. Together, we’re giving more children the foundation they need for success in school and beyond.
We are proud to partner with Easterseals on making early learning a top priority in Sarasota County.
Carrie Williams, CEO of Running Valley Financial and Women United Volunteer Chair shared, “Not having much prior knowledge of what Easterseals does, I was blown away by the level of care and compassion that is shown by the staff at the Lilly School. I love how they are able to teach the students real life skills to help them gain confidence, as well as give students an opportunity to have their own businesses and create an income for themselves.”
We hope you’ll join us at our next Leadership Society volunteer event and take an opportunity to learn more about the work that we fund and the people we’re helping.