Celebrating those who invest in our youngest learners

United Way of Southwest Virginia publishes online series to celebrate National Week of the Young Child™

Abingdon, VA (April 27, 2017) – As part of the national Week of the Young Child™ celebrated across the country, United Way of Southwest Virginia is honoring young children and the early childhood educators who make a difference in children’s lives.

“We have a great opportunity to invest in Southwest Virginia’s children as they grow up – from cradle to career,” said Travis Staton, President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Virginia. “All young children need and deserve high-quality early learning experiences that will prepare them for life. They’re our next generation of game-changers and problem-solvers. We want them to grow up to be healthy, educated and financially stable, which means they need to learn healthy habits at an early age and learn how to create, problem-solve, and think in their early years. Early years are learning years.”

In celebration of Week of the Young Child™ (April 24-28, 2017), United Way of Southwest Virginia has published an online story series celebrating five of their Virginia Quality programs around the region: Kids & Company in Giles County, Kirk’s Blessings in Tazewell County, Wytheville Child Development Center and Spiller Elementary in Wythe County, Miss Amy’s Daycare Center in Washington County, and Kids Central in Wise County. Through these stories, readers will get a glimpse into how Southwest Virginia’s quality childcare programs are innovatively preparing these young children for the next steps in their journey through life.

Robin Grossman, Regional Manager for United Way of Southwest Virginia’s Virginia Quality program said, “Week of the Young Child is a time for Southwest Virginia to recognize the importance of quality childcare, and a time for us to celebrate the teachers who invest in these children every day. What the providers are doing pays off now, and also in the later years of the children’s lives.”

Students who are not ready for kindergarten form the largest group of high school dropouts, and they have less than a 12 percent chance of attending a four-year university, according to The Children’s Reading Foundation.

Grossman says, “We know that high-quality education and care bring lasting benefits to Southwest Virginia. That’s why we are publishing this series, and that’s why we focus so much on early education and early literacy in our Virginia Quality and Smart Beginnings programs at United Way. It’s like Travis said, ‘early years are learning years’.

The week-long story series concludes on Friday, April 27 and can be found at www.UnitedWaySWVA.org/week-of-the-young-child/.


United Way of Southwest Virginia’s Virginia Quality network – one part of their early education initiative – consists of child care centers, preschools and family child care homes across Southwest Virginia. By voluntarily joining Virginia Quality, early learning programs show their staff, families and community that they are committed to quality education for young children. For more information about Virginia Quality, visit www.VirginiaQuality.com.

United Way of Southwest Virginia fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Southwest Virginia because they are the building blocks for a good quality of life. Through an initiative-based cradle-to-career approach, United Way of Southwest Virginia is creating sustainable solutions to address the challenges facing tomorrow’s workforce. United Way convenes cross-sector partners to make an impact on the most complex problems in our region. Through collaboration with government, business, nonprofit and individuals, United Way innovates for positive, lasting social change. With a footprint that covers almost 15% of the state of Virginia, United Way of Southwest Virginia serves Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington and Wise, and the cities of Galax and Norton. For more information about United Way of Southwest Virginia, visit www.UnitedWaySWVA.org.

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