More Than Words Can Say: Reflecting on the 2022 Giving Challenge

February 16, 2024

A girl in a playground tunnel with her head poking out and smiling
Two girls posing for a photo at a park

More than words can say, we are grateful for the generosity our community showed during the 2022 Giving Challenge. The lives of our at-risk children and families have changed for the better in so many ways, it’s almost impossible to name them all.

At Children First, we ensure that all children are prepared to enter Kindergarten, no matter their circumstances at birth or in life. In addition to receiving high-quality early childhood education, every child enrolled with our agency receives comprehensive services to support their overall development.

16% of our young learners have a diagnosed disability that our highly trained and compassionate staff help them overcome through therapeutic services and individualized care

With community support from the 2022 Giving Challenge, we can offer, at no cost to the families, Individualized Education Plans (IEP) that spell out the special education instruction, supports, and services children need to make progress and thrive in school.

Kenny Hughes’ son, Matthew, benefited from this personalized plan shortly after he was enrolled in Children First’s Early Head Start program at the age of 1. “When Matthew started at Children First, the staff realized he needed early intervention speech therapy,” Kenny said. “Thankfully, he was able to get that immediately right here on campus.”

Today, Matthew is a bright and bubbly first grader, and Kenny continues to be involved with Children First as a member of the board of directors, because he knows how vital the programs are for all children in our community.

“It means the world to me to know that my son started Kindergarten on equal footing because of Children First and their services.” – Kenny Hughes, Former Head Start Parent and Current Member of the Children First Board of Directors.

The support of those who participated in the Giving Challenge has impacted so many other children and their families who need extra guidance as they prepare to become lifelong learners.

“Thank you all for believing in Matthew, believing in me, and believing in families like ours,” said Kenny. “Children are our future, and they need us now more than ever. Together we can continue transforming the lives of our community’s most vulnerable and help them discover their full potential.”

For more about Children First, visit https://www.childrenfirst.net/