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Learning Connections of Bartonville is a nonprofit childcare center whose sole purpose is to improve the lives of the children in Bartonville, Illinois. We believe that children are our hope for the future and that they should be given every opportunity for health and happiness regardless of what home they were born into. Ninety percent of the children who attend our center are considered “At-Risk”of academic failure due to multiple circumstances in their lives. Their childcare bill is subsidized by the State of Illinois, Child Care Resource and Referral Network and private scholarships. We provide the highest quality of care and early learning environments for these children. The cost of quality comes with a high price tag, roughly $10,000 per child per year. Our subsidized tuitions cover only 40% of the cost of high quality care for each child. We rely heavily on our local community, corporations, businesses, benefactors and other sponsors to help us improve the lives of the children. Studies show that high quality early childhood education reduces the cost of corrective interventions (i.e., reading recovery, math interventions, speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy etc.) later in life by more than ten times. This means that for every $1 spent on early education services in the formative years of life $10 is saved on recovery services during school years. Additionally, children who attend high quality early childhood programs are 29% more likely to graduate from high school and earn a 33% higher salary on average.

Learning Connections is located in Bartonville, a suburb of the City of Peoria, where 4 out of 10 teenage girls are pregnant by sixteen years old. Seventy-eight percent of all children live in homes of unwed single parents whose income are lower than the national poverty level. We know that offering high quality flexible childcare which is available on evenings and weekends makes it possible for parents to work, hold onto jobs, and go to school. We believe that by modeling character traits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control, that we grow children who will be future assets to their communities. We have been operating for over eleven years and are bringing more than forty jobs to our communities. In that time our school district has seen massive growth and improvement in their school report card results for early literacy and intervention. We are also partnering with the local school districts to refer those families who are in need to our center. The earlier we start the farther we go.

Learning Connections is here to care for the children with the greatest needs, regardless of their ability to pay for care. All funding donations will be used to provide nutritious meals and snacks, dental care, Creative Curriculum tools and materials, manipulatives, child sized play furniture, consumables, in depth ongoing assessment and intervention to every child in our care. In addition, we offer classes to parents of the children we serve helping them with budgeting and financial planning, parenting, cooking and nutrition, discipline, adult literacy, and learning to play. We know the importance of community support and early education. We know that by improving the life of even one child, we can change the world. If you or your organization would like to partner with our organization you may call (309) 222-1792 to speak with C.E.O. Tracy Lockenour about how you can help this effort. We welcome your visits if you would like to see exactly where your donations will be going.

As stated above, all donations go directly to the children or items for the children. No donations will ever be used to pay any salaries or administrative fees; those fees are taken care of by subsidized tuitions and separate grant funding. No donation of time or money is too small. Every dollar makes a difference. Together we can change the world one child at a time.

Thank you for your support.

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