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Children, Inc. Launches $5 Million Capital Campaign to Reach More Kids

Children, Inc. launched a $5 million capital campaign to increase its reach to more disadvantaged youth in the region.
 
"Scaling for Impact" kicked off Thursday at Drees Pavilion in Devou Park.
 
“We are humbled to tell you that, due to some astounding early support, we've already raised over $3.1 million towards the goal,” campaign co-chair Roger Schorr announced at the luncheon.
 
The Drees Family and the Drees Homes Foundation have made the lead campaign gift of $750,000.
 
Founded 40 years ago to provide quality early childhood education and care, Children, Inc. now serves school-age children as well, helping to prepare them for careers and college. It serves 3,000 children each day.
 
The nonprofit now wants to do more. 
 
“This is our opportunity to make a bigger impact,” said Rick Hulefeld, CEO and founder of Children, Inc.
 
Children, Inc. plans to invest the funds in these three areas:
 
  • $2.5 million will pay for the renovation of five highly rated early childhood centers in underserved communities. The campaign will help Children Inc. more than double the number of students in its preschools to 1,200.
  • $1 million will help to fund scholarships for more hard-working, low-income families who cannot afford quality early childhood education and care
  • $1.5 million will expand the capacity of Children, Inc.’s Innovation Lab to create, evaluate and disseminate two-generation solutions to poverty involving children and their parents or other caregivers.
 
With the funds, the Innovation Lab will develop a scalable delivery model for its Leadership Scholars Parent Academy, which Children, Inc. acquired in January. Leadership Scholars offers an eight-week program designed to provide parents with strategies and tools to support academic, social and emotional development of their children. This is the first time in Children, Inc.’s history that it is working directly with parents to provide them with the skills and mindsets they need to help their children be successful.
 
Frankie Bryant-Cunningham, a retired teacher who has facilitated the parent academy for several years, said she has seen the difference the program makes by coaching parents.
 
“It’s not that they don’t want their children to succeed,” she told the crowd. “It’s that they don’t know how to help them succeed.”
 
The Innovation Lab will also scale up NaviGo Prep, a college and career coaching program that Children, Inc. acquired in July. NaviGo Prep coaches work with high school teachers and students to uncover students’ interests, passions and talents, helping students navigate careers and other possibilities beyond high school.
 
Alaria Long (pictured above), a senior at Holmes High School in Covington who is involved in the NaviGo Prep program, said at the event that the program has made a big difference for
her. After being mentored for four years, she has been accepted into ten colleges. She hopes to become a nurse.
 
Children, Inc. has been expanding its services into Southwest Ohio, including by adding four preschools in Cincinnati that are helping to fill Cincinnati Preschool Promise seats.
 
Children, Inc. now operates 17 preschools - most with the highest state rating - in Northern Kentucky and southwest Ohio, more than any other nonprofit or business in the region. Only a few school districts run more.
 
-Staff report
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