MILLTOWN — United Way of Central Jersey announced a partnership with Target in recognition of its Parent-Child Home Program, an evidence-based initiative focusing on the critical role of parent-child interaction in strengthening families and preparing children for success in school and life.
The program targets low income, low literacy families, many of which do not speak English well or at all, who are not accessing other community services. The Target grant will be used to purchase books which the home visitors will utilize to model appropriate verbal interaction between parent and child.
Lawrence P. O’Connell, Chair and Chief Volunteer Officer at United Way stated that “Nationally, 60 percent of 3 – 5 year olds do not have the basic school readiness skills. They cannot count to 10 and do not know the alphabet. By kindergarten, low income children will have heard 15 million words and had 25 hours of one on one reading compared to 55 million words and 1,700 hours of one on one reading for middle income children. Children who enter kindergarten unprepared are more likely to be academically behind by first grade, remain behind in third grade and drop out of school at a higher rate than their ‘ready’ peers. PCHP focuses on early literacy to bridge this achievement gap.”
This grant is part of ongoing efforts by Target to strengthen families and communities throughout the country. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its income to communities. Today, that giving equals more than $3 million every week.
“At Target, our local grants are making a difference in communities across the country.” said Laysha Ward, Target’s president of community relations,. “We’re proud to partner with United Way of Central Jersey as part of our ongoing commitment to strengthen communities where our guests and team members live and work”
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