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

Elgin Partnership is You! You are Elgin “Partner”ship for Early Learning.  EPEL is much like a gardener who is planting seeds with an early learning lens in the community, and "you" our passionate partners are tending the seeds that will blossom into healthy, supp orted, and prepared children. 

Last week I attended an open house for a new school in the community, and they were planting a tree to mark the celebration. I said to a board member, “Nurture the tree, and it will grow.” This small tree is much like children, we feed their brains by reading, talking, playing, doing and writing with them, and they will grow into confident kindergarteners that one day will be productive adults who will contribute to our community. 

Planting seeds is exhilarating, but watching you as partners sew them into your existing services to promote child, family and community wellbeing is beyond anything that I could have ever imagined. You inspire me! I thrive watching the different systems that don’t traditionally work together collaborate to enhance your "individual" services to spin a web of support for families. 

Every bountiful garden needs watering (sprinkling your services), weeding (weeding through the child/family needs to serve for best outcomes) and lots of sunshine (making an impact with kindness and patience). 

John E. Lewis says, "If not us, then who? If not now, then when?" "Now" is the time for us to lean in, t ake our communities precious little seeds, nurture them with our expertise, thoughtfulness, and resources and watch them grow and prosper today, tomorrow and in the future.

Together We Can,
What's Happening in Elgin in Early Learning
Training and Laundry Happenings
EPEL and Elgin Police Department teamed up to provide ALICE (Active Shooter Response Training) for 100 early educators that work in childcare centers.
Thank you EPD for keeping our educators, community and our most precious assets, children, safe.

Loretta Holder, the owner of Sunshine Home Daycare, emailed me after the training and said, "Amber I just wanted to say that I thought this was an excellent training! Skills/information I can use in my business and personal life. Excellent!"
Elgin based not for profit, Hamilton Wings, Volunteer working with and modeling developmentally appropriate activities with children at JetXpress Laundry.

Thank you for partnering with EPEL!
EPEL held our first Parent Council interest meeting at Gail Borden library in August. We look forward to growing this partnership as parents are a very important piece to our organization and a strong voice in our community. Research shows that there is a direct correlation between parents who are engaged in their child's education and success in school.

If you have know a parent that would be interested click
Screenings are an important tool to track your child’s development, including language, movement, thinking, behavior, and emotions. It is recommended that all children are screened starting at 2 months old and continue regularly.

You can access the Ages and Stages Developmental Screening (ASQ-3) and ASQ-SE 2 (Social-Emotional Screening) on EPEL's Website in English and Spanish.

By identifying developmental delays early you have the opportunity for better educational outcomes.
New Early Learning Community Partners
We are excited to announce that Greater Elgin Family Care Center and Blue Kangaroo Laundry have committed to be early learning partners with EPEL and U-46. We will be partnering to offer materials and opportunities to serve families right in their businesses.

A year ago EPEL started exploring ways to bring early learning opportunities to families in non-traditional spaces in the community. Our goal is for every business, organization, bus, train, healthcare facility, or establishment that a family would visit would have early learning opportunities available to serve the families. Help think outside the box on what each of us as community members could implement to make everyday moments early learning experiences for our youngest learners. You are our partners who see children, parents, and grandparents and we depend on you to help us make this community a premier early learning community.

Does your organization want to partner for a project in a laundromat, grocery store, pediatrician's office or business? Do you want to run a book drive, donate money, or volunteer to support projects in the community and get books in children's hands?

How can your agency get involved to support children being prepared for kindergarten?

Coming Soon.. .
Consider donating to EPEL on November 27th for Giving Tuesday.
Laundromat Volunteer Spotlight
Did you know that EPEL names KEY PIECES to our organization monthly?
 September's Key Pieces are Antonia Ramirez-Colunga and Margarita Pantoja. T hese passionate volunteers provide story time twice a month on Saturdays at the Laundromat in English and Spanish. Thank you ladies for your dedication to serving children in the community!

To see all of our Key Pieces for this year click here.
Thank You Altrusa
Thank you Altrusa for funding our grant for early learning materials and books for the Language in the Laundromat project. #TalkingIsTeaching
Follow Us
Social Media is a great way for you and the families you serve learn about resources and events going on in the community. Check us out on Instagram: elginpartnership Facebook: Elgin Partnership Twitter @epel844KIDINFO
and our website !
Chicago Tribune-Elgin Courier
Guest Columnist: Amber Peters, EPEL Collaboration Director
What has Elgin done? Elgin has committed to early learning and loves its children so profoundly that we are coming together, putting agendas aside and building strategies. I have never visited a community as rich in resources to support families.

We must do more. Imagine if every location a family visited — bus/train stations, medical centers, banks, police departments, gas stations, coffee shops — offered early learning opportunities. What if our future workforce is only 25 percent prepared? Every company and meeting must include discussion of our future workforce. We must create, collaborate and build to yield successful outcomes.

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