SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – To support efforts to counter the effects of poverty on early learning, United Way Suncoast has awarded Safe Children Coalition (SCC) $75,000 in Community Investment funding for its Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program. HIPPY, which is free to participants, helps parents to provide educational enrichment for preschool-age children.
The HIPPY program supports parents who may not feel sufficiently confident to prepare their children for school and is designed to remove barriers to participation in education. By bolstering parents in their role as their child’s first and most important teacher, HIPPY strives to increase children’s success in school and, ultimately, in life.
“We are most grateful for the $75,000 investment from the United Way Suncoast in support of our HIPPY program,” said SCC President and CEO Brena Slater. “Thanks to this investment, our organization can continue to furnish area parents with the tools and resources to become more confident in providing educational enrichment, and ensure their child(ren) will be kindergarten-ready.”
The lasting community impact of the coalition’s work and HIPPY’s specific focus on early learning aligns with United Way’s mission. As households continue to grapple with the financial fallout of the pandemic and parents strive to navigate a challenging educational year, United Way Suncoast has stepped up with a $6.05 million boost to 77 area nonprofits for the 2022 fiscal year. Each grant will fund specific programs that support the interconnected priority areas and help ALICE (Asset, Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families who stand just one unexpected expense from enduring hardship.
HIPPY focuses programming in North Sarasota and surrounding communities that experience the highest levels of poverty in the County. In this area, 56% of the population – the highest percentage in Sarasota County – are considered ALICE or below the federal poverty level (United Way ALICE Report, 2018). HIPPY has been in Sarasota since 1992 and is well-known in targeted communities.
UWS continues its 97-year mission of lifting up the community by sustaining its focus on four priority areas: early learning, youth success, financial stability, and asset development. The investment extends to all five counties in UWS’ region – DeSoto, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota – and underscores the organization’s long-time commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
“We are proud to support high-impact programs that will do so much good across our region,” said United Way Suncoast CEO Jessica Muroff. “As we look to emerge from the pandemic and strengthen our commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion with a new strategic vision, it’s never been more important to advocate for our community. Through our partnerships and expertise, we will continue to create bold solutions to our biggest challenges – uplifting lives and achieving equity for generations to come.”
For more about Safe Children Coalition, visit sccfl.org or call 941-371-4799.
About Safe Children Coalition
Safe Children Coalition, Inc. (SCC) serves as the lead agency for community-based care for Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. SCC is a collaboration between local community agencies who provide services to children and families in need. SCC is committed to protecting children, strengthening families, and building community. The core functions provided by SCC include child welfare case management, foster care, adoption, independent living, prevention, diversion, quality management, and support services. Visit sccfl.org or call 941-371-4799.
About United Way Suncoast
United Way Suncoast severs the constraints that prevent families from thriving. We dismantle the barriers to human prosperity, uniting our community along the way. When we provide pathways to early learning, financial stability and youth success, we lift up families as they cultivate a future beyond circumstantial constraints. We provide choices. We provide opportunities. We create space for families to grow without limitations, elevating communities by building a future with equity for all. We are proud to serve the people of DeSoto, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties by operating and funding services and programs to help our community have the Freedom To Rise.