The Collaborator
Summer Edition 2018
Message from Collaboration Director: Amber Peters
EPEL Partners,

Last summer I was writing EPEL's first "Collaborator" newsletter and it is exciting to look back over the year to evaluate where we were as a community and where we are headed in impacting families and children. One of our collaboration's goals is to ensure our youngest learners are prepared for school and life. We know that a baby's brain makes more connections by age three than any other time. The positive relationships with caring adults and every experience a child has help shape his or her future. The investment you make in the first three to five years of a child's life is going to make a massive impact on our community. These are our children, and we have to invest in them!

Each of our partners is unique and has a copious amount of gifts to share in supporting families. We know that YOU....

  • are diversified in your gifts
  • are the expert in your role in a child's life, i.e. educators, medical providers, faith partners, business owners, parents, community leaders
  • have the opportunity to impact a child in some of the most untraditional places in the community

I see you out in the community gifting your talents, and I am in AWE. EPEL has been thinking out of the box on how to connect with our hardest to reach children in untraditional places. Join us in this endeavor of reaching, connecting, equipping, and serving children and families. The 2200 days between birth and kindergarten seem long in days for parents, but as we know as a community, it is a short period. Together as a community, we can make an impact on our most important asset "children."

Together We Can,


What's Happening in Elgin in Early Learning
EPEL supports early learning through professional development, screenings, resources, quarterly director and family care provider network meetings, and enrollment. The early learning centers/home care providers continue to improve through training to provide high-quality education to our earliest learners to prepare children for school and life.

Three new early learning centers in the area!
See below.

Childcare Center Receives Silver Circle of Quality

Children of America Childcare center in South Elgin was awarded their Silver Circle of Quality for Illinois ExceleRate.

New Early Education Opportunities

(3-5 yr. old)

(In fants-Kindergarten)

( Infants-Kindergarten)

Click on each to find out more!
Laundromats Aren't Just for Laundry Anymore
A year ago EPEL started exploring new places to find some of our hardest to reach families. Statistics show that families spend 2.5 hours a week in the laundromat so we decided to offer literacy opportunities to children at JetXpress Laundry on Dundee Avenue while they wait. This is the perfect platform for serving families while they are doing their laundry, while also offering children learning opportunities We received funding from Elgin Township to bring "Language in the Laundromat" to fruition. We modeled a campaign called Talking is Teaching from the Clinton Foundation's initiative Too Small to Fail. Partners Advocate Sherman Hospital, Boys & Girl's Club, Gail Borden Library, Hamilton Wings, U-46 Preschool Parent Liaisons, YMCA, and YWCA come and model best practices for parents while also wrapping services around the children.
Hamilton Wings
Family Engagement Volunteer
Estefania Sanchez

Does your agency want to partner for a project in a laundromat, grocery store, pediatrician's office or playground? Do you want to run a book drive at your agency for our projects in the community?

 Think outside the box on how your agency could get involved.

Contact Amber Here if interested.

Gail Borden Library's
Madeleine Villalobos
shared storytime and crafts with the children.

Read more below about this project:

What Advocate Sherman says about Volunteering
Paola Velasquez, Coordinator of Multi-Cultural Services, says,

"Amber Peter’s email signature says it all, “Together We Can." EPEL’s ideas to offer reading and resources at a laundromat truly engages and creates trust among the Elgin residents. I’m impressed how Amber allowed us, a hospital to partner with EPEL. Although we have different scopes and tasks, we have one similar objective and that is to engage and educate the community. On our first visit, we were able to share EPEL resources as well as provide nutrition-related reading & coloring books and provide nutrition & health education. I was impressed by one comment from one of the clients; she approached us and asked if we were with EPEL, which already shows trust and interest to learn more about the partnership EPEL is building. Thank you EPEL for the opportunity, and I believe that together with the different organization’s involvement will make this a successful program."

Thank you Advocate Sherman for serving the community so all families can be healthy and happy. This is an important step in having all children ready for school and life.
Laundry Volunteer Spotlight: Advocate Sherman

Advocate Sherman employees Paola Velasquez, Multi-Cultural Services Coordinator, Kelli Phelan, Dietician and Hilda Ibarra, Medical Interpreter & Diabetes Outreach volunteer at the laundromat educating the children on healthy snacks, sugar content in foods while also providing glucose screenings for the parents.
Your Voice Matters

EPEL held our full collaboration meeting on June 15 at the YWCA. Our partners moved around the room networking with others to discuss the needs of families and children in our community.
Building trust and relationships with each other in the community helps support our families and children. We will be sending out the results of the discussions as this can help us community wide to work toward the same goals of having all children ready for school and life. Together We Can!
Save the Date for our next Collaboration Meeting October 26


Parents and providers can access the Ages and Stages (ASQ-3) Developmental Screening and the ASQ-SE-2 Social-Emotional screening tool on our website in English and Spanish. It is important that every child is screened to ensure that all children receive any needed services as soon as possible .

Invest in Children=Benefit Elgin  
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