Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy Birthday!!!


An old African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”  Help Me Grow is all about linking the multiple players in a young child’s life to assure that children reach their optimal development.  As a parent of four I realized many years ago that the power of parenting was knowledge and resources. There were too many times as a parent I felt unsure of how to address certain problems but as I linked to resources including:, family, doctors, neighbors, friends, books, professionals and other parents I was given enough information to make better decisions for my children and our family. 
I wanted to make the search for resources easier and so I went hunting for a model.  The Help Me Grow model developed in Connecticut under the expertise of Dr. Paul Dworkin was exactly what I had been looking for and thus began the journey of Help Me Grow Utah.  We are celebrating our second birthday and it is only because of the individuals that sacrificed hours and hours of time to help bring Help Me Grow  to Utah County.  
I want to thank:
o   Dr. Paul Dworkin for being willing to share his insight and expertise to improve the lives of children and their families.  We are continually amazed with the model he developed.
o   Help Me Grow National Team for their continual support.
o   Bill Hulterstrom, CEO of United Way of Utah County for giving us the freedom and financial support necessary to build a new initiative.
o   Rebekah Tucker for listening and supporting the idea before anyone else.
o   Robin Lindsay our child development specialist who has sacrificed the opportunity for a much more lucrative career to help build a system that supports parents.  She has taught our team so many skills.
o   Stephanie Ipson, Deborah Weiss, Rachel Pittman and Kami Huff for literally donating a year of their life as VISTAs to build an initiative with the hope of improving the world they will direct in a much shorter time than they think.
o   Our amazing interns that have been such a great source of innovation.
o   Partners for Infants and Children for their encouragement, counsel and continued support. 
o   All the amazing staff and volunteers that have contributed of their time and wonderful skills to build the program.

And most importantly, the parents in our county that are doing the most difficult work of all, raising the next generation.  Our staff thanks you for the privilege of being just a very small part of your life.
-Barbara Leavitt, Early Childhood Initiatives Director at United Way of Utah County


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