Cementing the Foundation for a Brighter Future
How early learning helps the break the cycle of poverty.
Solving poverty is a complex problem. There are plenty of factors to consider and far too many
families in our community experiencing the challenges that go along with low-income. The one thing we know for sure is that early childhood is a great place to start!
The latest research on neuroscience shows that the basic architecture of a child’s brain is heavily impacted by the experiences and environments they interact with during their formative years (birth to age 8). Early experiences influence their cognitive, social and emotional skills, which are important for successful learning and thriving throughout life. Families with young children who live in poverty experience more financial stress and barriers, which may result in fewer opportunities for children to learn and develop during these formative years. United Way invests in many programs to support families so that children start school ready to learn, have
what they need to succeed in school and complete high school.
In this issue of your Donor Report, we want to highlight two programs that are making a difference for early childhood literacy. One is a United Way funded program at the Centre for Family Literacy. The other is an initiative of United Way delivered through early learning and home visitation programs. Partnerships with organizations like the Edmonton Public Library are key to The Kid Kit’s success.
The Kid Kit® is an innovative resource used to help parents and caregivers learn about child development and engagement activities to do with their children, all of which strengthens their nurturing parent-child relationship. There are several kits, one for each stage of development from birth to 5 years of age. Each kit contains activity cards that describe how to interact with their child through play and why a certain activity is necessary for development. Each kit
includes all the toys, books and craft supplies to complete the activities. In 2018, nearly 1,500 kits were distributed free of charge to families through designated United Way partner programs.
Breaking the cycle of poverty is one of United Way’s top priorities. By providing families access to high quality programs and support, with your help, we are cementing the foundation for a brighter future for all our kids!
Director, Strategic Initiatives