In this issue: Youth In Need and University City Children’s Center join early learning programs, and the Rotary Club of St. Charles County is holding a trivia night to benefit Youth In Need.

Agencies Join Early Childhood Programs

Youth In Need and University City Children’s Center (UCCC) recently announced that both organizations will move forward with plans to combine their early childhood education services. Both organizations’ boards of directors unanimously agreed to the plan to have UCCC and the LUME Institute become a part of Youth In Need’s Early Learning Programs across St. Louis and Eastern Missouri.

With this formal affiliation, UCCC will continue serving children from across St. Louis with its unique and inclusive curriculum, as it has for 54 years. UCCC’s sister organization, the LUME Institute, will maintain its innovative teacher training programs. Youth In Need will offer increased supports for UCCC families and staff as well as provide additional resources for LUME’s professional development services to grow and expand.

Youth In Need and UCCC have been partners for almost 15 years. In 2010, UCCC became one of Youth In Need’s Early Head Start partners, enabling UCCC to offer 16 infants and toddlers the center’s top-notch education at no cost to low-income families. As a regional Head Start and Early Head Start federal grantee, Youth In Need has been working closely with UCCC ever since. In addition, Youth In Need is a repeat customer for LUME’s expertise, having sought out the Institute’s teacher training for its own staff multiple times over the years.

Steve Zwolak, former Executive Director of UCCC and founder of the LUME Institute, said, “Youth In Need has been a trusted partner of University City Children’s Center since 2010. I worked closely with their leadership and have always been impressed with their team. They share UCCC’s philosophical values of serving children and families with great empathy and supporting teachers with training in emotionally responsive practices. This partnership will help everyone hold the souls of children and serve families across our region.”

Pat Holterman-Hommes, President and CEO of Youth In Need, said, “Steve Zwolak and his team have built a remarkable culture at UCCC and with LUME. Our goal is to continue their legacy of serving families and children in the best way possible: with remarkable staff and a commitment to nurture the growth and development of children through inclusive, innovative, high-quality care and education. We’ve enjoyed a special partnership for almost 15 years and look forward to continuing to serve our region together. Youth In Need is celebrating our 50th anniversary this year, and UCCC is older than we are. That means collectively we’ve been serving the St. Louis region for more than 100 years.”

Youth In Need and UCCC shared the news with families, teachers and staff. UCCC and LUME will keep their current names, and there will be no significant changes to day-to-day operations.

Test Your Trivia Knowledge!

The Rotary Club of St. Charles County will hold a trivia night to benefit Youth In Need and the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County on Saturday, April 6 at St. Peter Parish Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and trivia begins at 7 p.m. The cost is $200 for a table of eight and includes soda, beer and wine as well as attendance prizes, 50/50 drawings and more! Outside food and beverages are permitted. Visit online to reserve your table or sponsorship!