Improving the health and well-being of Colorado's most vulnerable young children and families!

It is with a very heavy heart that we grieve the passing of Sheila Bugdanowitz, longtime President and CEO of the Rose Community Foundation. Sheila has been instrumental in the growth and development of Invest in Kids (IIK) throughout our history, and a pillar in our community. So much of our great work has been possible given our partnership with Sheila and the Rose Community Foundation. The legacy of her vision and commitment to our community will live on. It is with deep sadness, but also in great celebration of Sheila's life and work that we share the latest happenings at IIK...

First DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses
In October,  Theresa Godinez, RN became the first Nurse-Family Partnership┬« (NFP) nurse in Colorado to recive the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. Theresa has delivered NFP at Centura Health - St. Anthony Hospital since 2005. No one could be more deserving of such recognition. Theresa exemplifies relationship-based care, is a leader within her team, forges relationships with key community partners, and radiates a commitment and passion for serving moms. 

Theresa was nominated by her colleagues and chosen by a committee at IIK to receive the award. Honorees receive a certificate, which reads: "In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people." The Honoree is also given a meaningful sculpture called A Healer's Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa. 

The award is part of the DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses like Theresa perform everyday.   The DAISY Foundation was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died in 1999 at the age of 33 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known, but not uncommon, auto-immune disease. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.

The Incredible Years ┬« 
Peer Coach Expansion

The team at IIK spent a great deal of time the last five years providing rigorous training and coaching for our highest quality implementers of The Incredible Years┬« (IY) to serve as Peer Coaches who are now uniquely positioned in local communities to act as an extension of our staff. These coaches, combined, supported 91 classrooms last year, which represents the caseload of almost three full-time IIK staff members, but at no ongoing salary cost to IIK as these are employees of local districts. This partnership combines IIK's expertise in the program and the Peer Coaches' local relationships and on-site availability.

This fall, we invited 16 implementers to join a second cohort of Peer Coaches, which will significantly increase the current Peer Coaching capacity combined with the continued direct support from IIK staff. After a lengthy and  strategic process to determine appropriate Peer Coach competencies and recruit from statewide implementers, we have now moved into the implementation stage of  this project. We have held three small group regional trainings for the new coaches supporting the delivery of IY in Grand, Eagle, Lake, Garfield, Denver, Adams and Pueblo Counties. Before the end of the year, we will offer another regional training supporting two coaches' efforts in Cortez and Montrose Counties. We look forward to updating you on the progress of these coaches as they are gradually released to coach their peers.

IIK to Adopt New Coaching 
Technology Platform
Thank you to the generous funding from the Trustees of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, both IY and NFP are adopting a technology coaching platform called IRIS Connect. This will complement in-person coaching supports especially in rural communities. It will be particularly useful for providing additional supports to IY implementers who have completed our two year coaching protocol and for new NFP nurse supervisors. 

This multi-year grant will allow IIK to purchase all hardware and software costs related to the project. The platform provides tools to help nurses and teachers gain deeper insights and access coaching feedback by providing hassle-free, secure recording that uploads videos directly to a teacher's personal account and allows coaches to create collaborative spaces to share feedback and best practices. IIK staff are able to access uploaded content and time-stamp specific feedback to parts of a lesson and initiate a threaded discussion specific to that feedback or overall to the recording. This effort will have a slow roll-out to ensure proof of concept prior to further future year investment. IIK staff will still be present to support implementation efforts throughout the state, but can now offer additional supports in between visits.

Colorado Gives Day

Colorado Gives Day is tomorrow ! Join over 100,000 Coloradans on this statewide online giving day and support efforts at IIK like the Iris Connect roll-out and Peer Coach expansion. You can give tomorrow  or pre-schedule your gift today  and your contribution will qualify for a boost from the $1,000,000 Incentive Fund. 

When We All Benefit from a Gift

Gifts to IIK enable us to do what we do today, and on an even greater scale, tomorrow.  In addition to helping us, we want your gift to be rewarding for you as well. That's why we've added a resource library to our web site to make it easy to learn more about wisely planning your gift to meet your needs and those of your family.  Depending on the particular gift arrangement and your circumstances, you could avoid capital gains taxes, decrease your estate taxes, or receive an income tax charitable deduction for items that you can no longer use or wish to maintain. For instance, did you know ...
  • You can make a gift using appreciated securities and realize larger tax savings than if you had used cash?
  • You can make a gift that costs you nothing during your lifetime?
  • You can turn surplus life insurance coverage into a gift?
  • You can save your heirs upwards of 60% tax on your retirement plan (IRA, 401(k), 403(b) by using it to make your charitable gift to IIK?
We welcome you to learn more about these giving options on our web site. If you prefer to discuss these options over the phone, please call Director of Develoment, Steve Harrell, at (303) 839-1808, ext. 115, or by email at: and he will be happy to guide you through the process.
The preceding is not intended to serve as tax or financial advice.  Please consult with your financial advisor.  
Jane-A-Thon Set to Return in 2017

Join us on March 3rd & 4th, 2017, when IIK will host its 18 th annual Jane-A-Thon at the  Winter Park Resort/Mary Jane Territory. This ski/snowboard-a-thon fundraiser is a two-day event that raises money for our proven programs. It is the longest running event of its kind in the state!
Corporate Day will take place on Friday, March 3rd and Individual, Team, Friends and Family Day takes place on Saturday, March 4th.  We hope you will  join us on either day (or both!) to help us reach our goal of raising $100,000 for Colorado children and families.
Registration is now open. Take advantage of current early bird registration pricing and secure your lift ticket, lunch, T-shirt, a hat, and apres-ski/snowboard party, and an exceptional day of skiing/boarding while supporting IIK. Cl ick here to register today!
Contact Annie Thompson at 303-839-1808 x114 or for more details.

Second Annual Cocktails & Clues Event Hosted by YP4Kids

T his fall event was a huge success with nearly 100 young professionals gathering at a Highlands neighborhood model home with a rooftop patio and an amazing views of the Denver skyline.  It truly was a night to be remembered! T hank to all those who supported the event:  Tejon34  for donating the use of the model home event space,  Lady Justice Brewing  for donating the beer,  Sewald Hanfling Public Affairs  and  Dunbar Kitchen and Taphouse  for sponsoring the event, and  Epernay Lounge  and  Hyatt Regency  for donating our prizes. And thank you to everyone who came - it wouldn't have been a party without you!

Check our  Facebook page and our  webpage to learn more about YP4Kids and see upcoming opportunities for young professionals!
9th Annual Gala to be Held April 21st 
at Cluster Studios

Join us for the 9th Annual Invest in Kids Gala, a spectacular event, which includes a strolling dinner provided by Denver's top chefs and premier restaurants, delicious cocktails, dancing, entertainment, and a silent and live auction benefiting IIK. The Gala has been called "magical" and the food "incredible." Don't miss this one-of-a-kind foodie event in the new hip Cluster Studios venue! Society Columnist, Joanne Davidson said of the Gala, "Denver has no shortage of good restaurants ... it's hard to keep up with them all. Thank goodness for events like the IIK Gala. Instead of hiring
one caterer or engaging one chef, organizers line up a host of top-tier eateries
to assemble a one-of-a-kind cocktail and dinner party." Ticket sales will begin in January. More details to follow.

We expect our biggest and best gala yet in large part thanks to the dedication of event co-chairs:  Hollie Velasquez Horvath, Director of Community Affairs at Xcel Energy;   Kasia Iwaniczko MacLeod, Sr. Vice President, Enterprise Business & Community Engagement at Bank of America   and Priya Burkett, Director of Strategic Accounts at Xcel Energy.

Orchard Town Center Gives Back

For the entire month of December, Orchard Town Center in Broomfield is providing giftwrapping in exchange for a donation that will support IIK! So when you're getting your holiday shopping done, visit this Broomfield shopping center, take your gifts home already wrapped, and support Colorado's most vulnerable children at the same time. You'll have more checked off your list, and you'll feel great helping Colorado children and families at a time when they may need it the most.

Happy holidays from our families to yours!

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