Dear Friends,

Recently, one of our Family Support Specialists met a new client, a young, first-time mother with a four month old infant. The home visitor brought a board book and read with the baby, who was engaged and enthralled. His mom was surprised and said “I never knew reading books was important for a baby.” In the months since, sharing books has become a regular part of their home visiting experience. Now, when the home visitor shares her activities for the weekly visit, this baby always chooses the books first! This simple, yet critical, resource introduced to a parent and her infant son has become a means to support infant learning, brain development, family literacy and a loving bond for this new mother and her son.

Recent research on infant brain development has painted a clear picture about the need for high quality environments in which young children grow. As children experience stimulation through interactions with others, synapses or connections between brain cells are made. All of the connections that form an adult brain are created in the first few years of life! The value of early learning and family support programs for high need and low-income children is clear. These programs are the core of the work of Infant Welfare Society of Evanston (IWSE). IWSE has always recognized a child’s first three years as a critical period of development. The level of care and commitment IWSE provides its families is exceptional. The teacher to child ratios and small classroom group sizes, the active support of every child’s whole development, and the education, continuity and commitment of our well-trained professional staff is unparalleled.

Coupled with that commitment to excellence, the cost to maintain this level of service is also exceptional. To maintain this excellence, we rely on the generosity of IWSE friends and families to raise 20% of the annual budget. A contribution of $50 will buy new books for five families; $100 will buy a month’s supply of infant formula; $500 will underwrite one month of teaching supplies for a classroom. Consider participating in your employer’s matching gift program to increase your gift!

This season of giving invites reflection on the year soon to end. By looking at our children and families every day, I am reminded of the 101 years of impact we have made in our community. Our investment pays off. Please join with us in this investment and give generously.

Happy Holidays,

Cass Wolfe
Executive Director