A Night of Community Celebration!

Shawnee Baldwin, YMCA Teacher; Kim Bobin, WECC Coordinator

By Barbara Vita —

The Wethersfield Early Childhood Collaborative (WECC) held its annual meeting and dinner at the Pitkin Community Center in Wethersfield on October 29, 2019. Family and Early Childhood Coordinator Kimberly Bobin should be very proud of all the work she has accomplished with the help of partners, parents, teachers, and volunteers.

WECC has been working closely with ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Families as there is a growing need in Wethersfield. According to the United Way, 34% of Wethersfield families are struggling to make ends meet.

A Wethersfield parent spoke about how much the assistance from WECC helped her and her young children. She shared her story and told of her frustration with making too much money for assistance, but not enough to live comfortably.

In the past five years there has been a 61% increase in English Language Learners in Wethersfield Public Schools; two elementary schools report increases near or over 100% during that time period. Thirty-one languages are spoken in Wethersfield Public Schools! Because of this WECC offers a 2 Gen/ESL Family Literacy Program, reaching out to parents as well as infants, toddlers, and preschool children! WECC has also been able to award 29 preschool scholarships over the past three years to families in need; it has been a huge relief to families, most of whom are foreign born.

Small group discussion facilitated by Shawnee Baldwin

WECC does so much more! It is an excellent example of the powerful and necessary work that Local Partnerships can provide to communities. Lives are being changed for the better: children are being cared for, and parents are being comforted and supported. That is certainly something to celebrate!

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