Virginia Beach GrowSmart Foundation Awarded $25,000 for Early Childhood Education Innovation

Virginia Beach GrowSmart Foundation Awarded $25,000 for Early Childhood Education Innovation
​​​​Aimed at supporting families, women and children, GrowSmart will expand LENA START classes.
October 31, 2022

The Virginia Beach GrowSmart Foundation has been selected as a $25,000 micro-grant winner by the United Way of South Hampton Roads Women United initiative. Women United announced the grant recipients at their fall luncheon on Oct. 27, with over 750 attendees. The GrowSmart Foundation was one of two micro-grant winners.

"Women United invests in community solutions that deliver measurable results, particularly for women and children in our community," said Michele Anderson, president, and CEO of United Way of South Hampton Roads. "This particular grant is intended to support innovative programs using brain science and LENA Start is truly the perfect fit. We were so inspired by the results the program has already achieved and are thrilled to be partnering with the GrowSmart Foundation to impact even more children and families."

This funding will be used to expand the work of GrowSmart's Virginia Beach Talks initiative through LENA START coaching for families with children ages 0-3 years. The goal is to strengthen and support parents and adult caregivers in improving the home language environment for young children. Supporting parents in their important role is critical in supporting the healthy development and kindergarten readiness of young children. This class is offered FREE to families due to the generous support of Women United.

"It is vital that we invest in innovative early childhood solutions to strengthen and support the healthy development of children and lift up the important role of our families and adult caregivers," said Virginia Beach GrowSmart Coordinator Barb Lito. "What an honor to receive funding from Women United to support families, women, and children with innovative strength-based solutions. This is an investment in our future."

For more information about GrowSmart and its Virginia Beach Talks program, visit vbgrowsmart.com.

About Virginia Beach GrowSmart

GrowSmart is operated through the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development. GrowSmart exists to promote and improve the healthy development, school readiness and reading proficiency of young children ages 0-8. In addition to providing resources for parents and families, GrowSmart also offers programming to ensure the availability of high-quality early education.

About Women United

Women United, a leadership-giving society of United Way of South Hampton Roads, is a local force of women passionate about investing in programs that transform the lives of women and children in the community. Their 750 members are leaders and philanthropists focused on empowering and inspiring women to lead community-wide change that ends poverty in the 757. To learn more, visit unitedwayshr.org/womenunited

Women United
Women United, a leadership-giving society of United Way of South Hampton Roads, is a local force of women passionate about investing in programs that transform the lives of women and children in the community.

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