More than 200 volunteers from Central Indiana businesses came out Friday to impact early learning and raise awareness of the need for greater access to high-quality early learning programs for Hoosier children.
“Just 10 percent of children under age five in Indiana spend some or most of their day in a high-quality child care program, though 70 percent need care of adults other than their parents,” said Maureen Weber, chief executive officer of Early Learning Indiana. “Additionally, there aren’t enough high-quality options for children and families across the state, which creates a two-generational problem: one, for the parents who must work to support their families, and two, for the children who aren’t in high-quality learning programs. We’re on a mission to change that.”
Early Learning Indiana’s Inaugural Day of Impact created opportunities for businesses and community partners to complete projects for Early Learning Indiana’s Day Early Learning centers, where the organization provides child care and education to more than 1,000 children ages six weeks to six years. Roughly half of Day Early Learning’s families qualify for financial aid. In the network of nine community-based lab schools, the organization advances the science of early learning, trains the next generation of teachers and leaders, and instills essential skills in the children we serve
Day of Impact projects included painting and equipping classrooms; building an outside reading cabana for early learners; landscaping a center to create opportunities for immersive, outdoor exploration; building numerous outdoor garden boxes and a new art easel; and collecting donations and supplies to ensure classrooms are equipped with the resources kids need to succeed.
“Early education makes a remarkable difference for children, families and our community,” said Jennifer Dzwonar, partner at Borshoff. “Today, we’re helping to create environments that drive skill development, giving us the chance to show that businesses can make meaningful investments of time, talent and treasure to champion educational access.”
One of the highlights of the day was a “Thank You” parade from children enrolled in the Day Early Learning centers at the volunteer sites, complete with handmade signs the children made in their classrooms as they learned about philanthropy earlier in the week.
In addition to the physical volunteering of time and talents, Early Learning’s Day of Impact also included a fundraising drive, with a goal to raise $5,000 to expand access to high-quality early learning programs for children and their families.