[Charlotte, NC – January 16, 2017] – The YMCA of Greater Charlotte is pleased to announce it has been selected to receive a $124,700 grant from the Vanguard Capital for Kids (CfK) Program. Secured through the efforts of Smart Start of Mecklenburg County, the funds will support the Y’s Parents as Teachers program, which provides the information, support and encouragement parents need to help their children develop optimally during the crucial early years of life.
“A child’s brain grows to roughly 85% of full capacity in the first five years of life,” says Pilar Perez, YMCA of Greater Charlotte senior director of early learning initiatives. “It’s when a child learns to think, speak, and reason, but adverse early experiences such as poverty can weaken development and cause lasting effects.”
Perez says that all children need good health, strong families, and positive early learning exposure to foster healthy brain development and ensure they are prepared to transition into kindergarten. Understanding that parents are both the most important adults in a young child’s life and the biggest contributor to their success, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte began implementing Parents as Teachers in 2007 to serve under-resourced families with children infant to 5-years-old.
Parents as Teachers (PAT) promotes kindergarten readiness and healthy development of children. PAT supports the entire family and teaches parents how to be their child’s best, first teacher so that children are more advanced in language, social development and other cognitive abilities and better prepared to start school. The program is offered to families at no cost and will serve an estimated 300 families throughout the Charlotte region in 2017. The CfK funds will aim to support 25 families at Renaissance West Community Initiative (RWCI), the agency coordinating the education and services continuum of the former Boulevard Homes public housing site. Other funders of the Y’s PAT program include Smart Start of
Mecklenburg County and PNC Foundation.
“We are grateful for Vanguard’s investment in early education through the Y and for our incredible partner, Smart Start, for making this gift possible,” says Michael DeVaul, YMCA of Greater Charlotte chief community impact officer. “We know that equity starts at birth, and the Y looks forward to partnering with RWCI to improve social mobility for all in the West Boulevard corridor.”
The Vanguard Capital for Kids Program, established in 2015, is dedicated to helping provide a strong start for young children in communities near each of the investment company’s U.S. sites. More than 1,500 of Vanguard’s 15,000 global crew (employees) are based in Charlotte. CfK is funded through a combination of Vanguard corporate gifts and Vanguard crew gifts from the company’s annual giving campaign.
About the 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 approximately 272,000 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 over 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.
Vanguard is one of the world’s largest investment management companies. As of December 31, 2016, Vanguard managed more than $3.9 trillion in global assets. The firm, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, offers more than 350 funds to its more than 20 million investors worldwide. For more information, visit vanguard.com.