NewsFeed @ Youth In Need | August 14, 2017
Accolades Confirm Quality Tops the List
Youth In Need recently received two accolades that recognize the agency’s commitment to quality. For the fifth consecutive year, Youth In Need was named a St. Louis Post-Dispatch Top Workplace. The Top Workplaces—a list of the best places to work in St. Louis—are determined based solely on employee feedback. Staff clearly agree: Youth In Need is a great place to work!
Head Start East Recognizes Teachers of the Year
Youth In Need’s Head Start East program honored nine stellar infant-toddler teachers at a special appreciation event earlier this month. Youth In Need partners with nine early childhood education providers to deliver Early Head Start services to 120 children in St. Louis City and County.
Congratulations to the awardees for everything they do to help children grow.
- Jaunita Chism, Every Child’s Hope
- Latrice Kyles, Flance Early Learning Center
- Angie Lindsay, Friendly Temple Child Development Center
- Rhonda McCoy, Hilltop Child Development Center
- Diane Jackson, Kid’s World
- Stephanie McKinney, Southside Early Childhood Center
- Deborah Reid, St. Louis Transitional Hope House
- Kristin Durbin, University City Children’s Center and
- Twuana Price, Urban Sprouts Child Development Center
“The first five years have much to do with how the next 80 turn out.” —Bill Gates
Did you know that 85 percent of brain development happens in the first five years of life? There is a growing body of research about brain development in young children, and evidence about the importance of high-quality early care and education. That’s why Youth In Need’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs for children, aged birth to five, are so vitally important, and why we want them to be the best they can be.
Rob Muschany, Youth In Need’s Chief Development Officer, and I each had the opportunity to spend a day at one of our Head Start centers—Academy Neighborhood—as “Manager on Duty” while supervisors were in a leadership training. I don't know about Rob, but I was actually a little nervous about it! I’ve had experience working in a group home and counseling office, but not in an early care and education center. I haven’t walked in their shoes, but I know that being an early childhood teacher is a huge responsibility. Having a safe, high-quality environment takes constant vigilance, along with incredible patience, and creativity. We hold our teachers to very high standards, because our children deserve it, but that makes it a very challenging job. That said, for a couple of people who spend our days talking to adults, Rob and I both had a wonderful time being around young children, who are cute and funny, and full of wonder and energy, as well as our wonderful and caring staff.
I really enjoyed my day at the Academy Neighborhood Center, including the lovely and colorful manicure I got from my three-year-old friends! It was a pleasure to see our teachers doing the demanding yet joyful work of caring for our babies. One of our teachers, Gloria Ray, has been teaching young children for 24 years! Her eyes lit up when she told me about a little girl with a disability, who used to cry continuously. Through persistence and patience, this little one has made tremendous progress in her classroom, and her teachers are so proud and happy for her. “Believing in the power of potential” indeed!
I hope all of our teachers at Youth In Need will take a moment to pat themselves (and each other) on the back, and feel the pride that comes with doing a good job at something that is incredibly important. I'm proud of all them, and on behalf of all of us at Youth In Need, thank you for pouring your time, talent, hearts and souls into our tiniest clients!
Matching Gifts Increase Donation Impact
Did you know that many companies match donations made by their employees to Youth In Need? Gifts from employees’ spouses and retirees may also qualify for a match. Contact Michelle Brooks, Community Engagement Manager, for more information.
Matching gifts from your employer are a great way to double your donation to Youth In Need! If you volunteer at Youth In Need, your employer also may offer a volunteer grant program. Matching gifts and volunteer grants are an important source of revenue for the ongoing operation of Youth In Need and its programs.
Employee matching gift programs are corporate giving programs. Here’s an example. Let’s say you work for US Bank and donate $100 to Youth In Need. US Bank’s matching gift policy has a minimum gift requirement of $50 and matches at a 1:1 ratio. After you submit your matching gift form to your human resources department, US Bank will double your donation by also writing a check for $100. Requesting a matching gift is normally a five-minute process which must be initiated by the donor (employee). Your employer will have you submit a paper form they provide or you will complete your request through an electronic submission process.
Many matching programs will allow for up to one year after you’ve made your donation to request a corporate match, so be sure to save your tax receipt. To find out if your company matches, contact your human resources department, and they can give you the specific details on your company’s process.