Created by United Way of Greater Houston and ExxonMobil in 2002, United Way Bright Beginnings child care centers help children from low-income families gain social, emotional, physical and cognitive milestones that prepare them to enter school ready to succeed. There are 33 such centers in the Greater Houston Area that serve children from infancy to five years of age. Combining excellent teacher and director training, educational scholarships and developmentally appropriate curricula, equipment and supplies, United Way Bright Beginnings teachers work individually with each child to understand their needs and to plan their curriculum based on the interests of the child. Alumni of the program can expect higher math and reading scores, greater language abilities, lower dropout rates, and higher employment and earning rates– which better prepares them to enter the workforce and compete in a global economy. “The educational foundation we provide our children now will determine not only their future, but the future of our community,” said United Way of Greater Houston President and CEO Anna M. Babin. “Early childhood education has a huge influence on a child’s future success, but for many parents, providing quality early childhood education for their children is not an easy or affordable task. That is why United Way Bright Beginnings is so important.” United Way Bright Beginnings has prepared more than 9,000 children to start and succeed in school and, just last year, alumni outperformed their peers on 25 of 30 state and national exams.
By Ida Sameri