[Charlotte, NC – January 15, 2019] – The Howard Levine Child Development Center (HLCDC) at Renaissance West, operated by the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, has been awarded $25,000 from the Novant Health Foundation. Novant Health’s investment will support scholarships for families to enroll in the 5-star rated program. Of the current 109 families served, 96% receive financial assistance with an average scholarship of 55% of the cost of enrollment.
The HLCDC is part of the Renaissance West Community Initiative’s (RWCI) cradle-to-career education pipeline providing children and families with high-quality education, housing and community wellness programs at The Renaissance neighborhood, which is located at the former Boulevard Homes public housing site. Roughly two-thirds of HLCDC participants are residents of The Renaissance and adjacent Little Rock neighborhood. The center addresses potential achievement gaps before the area’s youngest students enter the community’s new CMS Pre-K-8 school, Renaissance West STEAM Academy. It also serves as a stable childcare option for parents who work nearby or commute along Billy Graham Parkway or West Boulevard.
At the close of its first year, the HLCDC serves 109 children from infancy through five years of age. The center is operated by the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, which is nationally recognized for its effective literacy and early childhood development programs addressing the academic achievement gap. In September, the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education awarded the HLCDC its 5 star rating, the highest achievement for licensed child care programs in the state.
“We’re grateful for Novant Health Foundation’s investment in high-quality, early childhood education,” says Dena Paulding, district executive director for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. “As the HLCDC enters its second year developing our community’s youngest minds, we couldn’t do it without the support of partners like Novant Health.”
The Y and Novant Health believe that the first years of a child’s life are a critical time of change and development, and that the true building blocks of health are established during a child’s early years. Novant Health supports early childhood development programs, with a focus on ages 0-5, that promote positive brain development and reading proficiency.
“Early education makes an absolute, measurable difference in the overall development and health of our children,” said Dr. Bill Hammill, chairman and system service line leader for Novant Health’s department of pediatrics. “Novant Health is proud to support the YMCA of Greater Charlotte in their mission to ensure more children in our community benefit from the solid foundation that the Howard Levine Child Development Center provides.”
About Renaissance West Community Initiative
Renaissance West Community Initiative is the lead nonprofit organization for community development programs and services at The Renaissance. One of more than 19 Purpose Built Communities in the United States, the community includes 334 units of mixed-income housing and the John T. Crawford Community Center, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and RWCI jointly opened the Renaissance West STEAM Academy, a new Pre-K-8 school, on the site in August 2017. RWCI uses a holistic community redevelopment approach focusing on multiple critical factors including mixed-income housing, educational opportunities, youth and adult development programs, health and wellness services and commercial investment. The organization is responsible for developing, coordinating and evaluating a comprehensive array of services and supports, such as health care, out–of-school-time programs and workforce development to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Renaissance West Community Initiative was formed by community leaders in the fall of 2012 and is governed by an 18-member board of directors. For more information, please visit www.rwci.org
About YMCA of Greater Charlotte
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits, strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of Greater Charlotte, comprised of 19 membership locations and two resident camps, engages nearly 300,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Deeply rooted in the community for more than 140 years, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. For more information visit www.ymcacharlotte.org