Early Childhood Education Benefits the Child and Family
Safi was 4 years old when he started preschool at CUB Early Learning Academy in Camp Washington. His teachers immediately noticed that he was not interacting with the other children and was not entering into peer group activities. They quickly recommended to the program’s Disability Manager that Safi be assessed. After a meeting with the parents and the Lead Education Agency (Cincinnati Public Schools), a full evaluation of Safi was arranged, including an in-depth physical evaluation at Children’s Hospital where it was discovered that Safi had a degenerative eye disease that was leading to his occupational difficulties. Safi started school at CUB on September 1st and by November 2nd had an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that included an itinerate teacher, speech pathologist and occupational therapist. He is now thriving! He has started speaking, is asking other children to play, and has bonded with his teachers and other children. While Safi will likely lose his vision in adulthood, the early diagnosis has allowed for plans to have him start learning Braille in kindergarten so he will be better prepared to deal with his vision loss. Safi’s true potential is being released because of the caring and attention he is receiving in preschool.
When Michael gained custody of his granddaughter, he enrolled her in CUB’s College Hill East preschool. He was so impressed with what the three-year old was learning, he took his five-year old twin sons out of a private preschool and enrolled them in College Hill East too. Michael said, “The only educated person at [the private preschool] was the director. At CUB all the teachers are educated. They have college degrees.”
When the teachers at Millvale realized that they had a single parent of two who had become homeless, they helped secure housing for the family and adopted the family for Christmas, providing coats, boots, socks, clothing, and toys. When the Family Service Worker spoke with the parent, Kimberly, after the holiday and asked, “How was your Christmas?” she replied, with tears in her eyes, “Thanks to all of you, my children had a Christmas.”
"I teach kindergarten at Cincinnati Public Schools . . . and I wanted to let you know what a great program you have! All the students who have come to me from your program are totally ready for my class and have obviously been educated and stimulated. I'm impressed with the literature and investigations your students are exposed to and what a great impact it has had on their learning. Good job and keep up the good work."
To visit the national Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center to hear more parent and family stories about the benefits of Head Start, click here.
Anna Louise Inn is a Safe Home
After losing her job, Sarah’s daughter recommended that she move to the Anna Louise Inn as an affordable place to live. In addition to a safe home, she has found a new family of women. When recently asked where she would live if she did not live at the Inn, after pausing, she responded, “I guess at a nursing home, which would be boring.” One thing Sarah loves about living at the Anna Louise Inn is the many friendships she has built. She and another woman on her floor knock on the wall between their rooms each evening before going to sleep to let the other know that she is okay.
In high school, Becky started using drugs recreationally. When her habit increased, it strained her relationship with her family, who insisted she go to rehab. After several visits to treatment centers, Becky was sober and starting over. The Anna Louise Inn provided the perfect place to live while she got her life back together. She needed time to save money, and she wanted a place where she felt safe so she could focus on staying sober each day. For a year, she lived at the Inn before getting an apartment of her own and reuniting with her daughter.
Anna graduated from a local college and earned a Master’s degree. Diagnosed with mental health issues, she has had difficulty finding employment. Sometimes her symptoms are bad; sometimes they aren’t bad. When she has an episode, it is difficult for her to leave her room. When she is feeling better, she is a productive worker. Right now, she finds comfort in living at the Anna Louise Inn, where she won’t be judged for her struggle with mental health issues.
After graduating from a local high school, Victoria was set to start college at UC. Instead she wanted to pursue a modeling career. Her mom came with her to see the Anna Louise Inn, the only place Victoria could afford while trying to be a model. Her mom valued the safety of the building and the feeling of community among the women. Victoria moved in and for two years, she tried to break into modeling, traveling once to California for an assignment. Now that modeling is out of her system, Victoria has enrolled in college for a nursing degree, and she appreciates the affordability of the Anna Louise Inn even more as she pays for classes.
Off the Streets because of Off the Streets (OTS)
Valerie lived in abandoned buildings, abused heroin, and was involved in human trafficking for over 11 years. She once shared a story of waking up after a rainy day and cold night and having to thaw her frozen clothes before putting them on. After being arrested, she asked her judge to sentence her to Off the Streets. During her time in the program, she was connected to medical care and began attending 12-step meetings. Today she is living in her own apartment and is studying graphic design in college. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA through her first 2 years and regularly visits OTS to offer encouragement to new women in the program.
Shelly was referred to the program while incarcerated in the Hamilton County Justice Center. She had four prior prostitution charges as a result of being victimized in human trafficking and one prior drug related conviction. She had been living in an unsafe situation with an abusive boyfriend.
During her eight months in the program, she was provided housing and connected to needed substance abuse and mental health services. After she obtained employment, she turned to finding her own housing.
At graduation, she was still employed and had her own housing. She also reported that she had been sober and not involved in prostitution or victimized for nine months, the longest amount of time that she could ever remember! She has had no new arrests.
Tonya had been homeless for numerous years prior to being referred to OTS while incarcerated at the Hamilton County Justice Center. In the year prior to engaging in OTS, Tonya was convicted of two drug related offenses and three prostitution offenses.
Tonya lived in housing we provided during her initial engagement in the program. She was also connected to medical care and substance abuse services. Building on her self-identified strengths, she obtained a job selling cars with a local dealership.
In fact, she made a sale just prior to attending her graduation! She continues work selling cars and maintains her own housing. She has also been free from being victimized by human trafficking and drugs for ten months and has had no new arrests.
While Laura had no prior prostitution convictions, she had numerous drug related offenses. She was referred to Off the Streets after revealing to her Drug Court probation officer that she regularly was a victim of human trafficking and prostitution. She had been in numerous other treatment programs without success and was on the verge of being sent to the penitentiary.
During her nine months with OTS, she lived in housing we provided and was connected to substance abuse and mental health services. While she did obtain a probation violation during her engagement in the program, the judge continued her participation in OTS instead of ordering incarceration based on her progress at OTS.
A week prior to graduation, she was successfully terminated from probation. She continues to maintain her own housing and reports no longer being victimized by human trafficking.