United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County hosted more than 700 families for United Way Family Celebration at Morgan’s Wonderland on July 15.
The families invited to the event participate in United Way’s Dual Generation, Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Early Support (HOPES), Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) and Service Members, Veterans and their Families (SMVF) initiatives. All of these initiatives focus on supporting families and providing useful resources for parents.
Most of all, United Way Family Celebration was an opportunity for parents and children to engage with each other and create lasting family memories. Research shows that if a parent is actively engaged in their child’s learning and life that it can lead to future success.
Children who have parents who are active in their learning often have higher grades and test scores, have higher rates of high-school graduation and post-secondary education and better develop necessary social skills and classroom behavior. Children with engaged parents are also less likely to need redirection in classes, have low self-esteem or develop behavioral issues.
The Dual Generation initiative’s approach to reducing child poverty is to strengthen families by giving parents and children the ability to succeed together. Community-based solutions that offer scaffolding workforce training, with quality child care and wrap-around support allow parents and children the opportunity to overcome challenges that limit them from reaching their goals.
HOPES supports a variety of programs aimed at families with children ages 0 to 5 in San Antonio. HOPES services include home visiting services, parent support groups, early literacy promotion and other family services.
The MIECHV program supports four home visiting programs that assist pregnant women and families by providing the necessary resources and skills to raise children who are physically, socially and emotionally healthy and ready to learn. These programs improve maternal-child health outcomes, improve school readiness, increase family economic self-sufficiency and reduce child injuries, abuse and neglect.
SMVF initiative helps reduce the stress of parenting for military families with children ages zero to 17 by addressing the unique challenges that military families face. SMVF program supports military families by providing special needs resources, child mentorship, parenting education, counseling, and military transition assistance.
United Way invests in programs that help families navigate challenges from each phase of their child’s life, especially the important developmental years from zero to five years old. Events like United Way Family Celebration gives parents the opportunity to be engaged in their child’s learning which is a critical part of early childhood development.