December 19, 2018

Buckingham Names Its 2018 Pillar Grant Recipients

Seven nonprofit organizations have been awarded funding in 2018 as part of Buckingham Strategic Wealth’s Pillar Grant Program. This year’s recipients are: Central Institute for the Deaf (CID), Ready Readers, Community Partnership for Child Development (CPCD), Junior League of Denver, SouthSide Early Childhood Center, Read Play Love and Chicago Youth Centers.

The Pillar Grant Program, an annual multifaceted philanthropy effort launched in 2015, is the firm’s most significant philanthropic initiative and seeks to support the missions of organizations working to better the lives of people in the communities that Buckingham calls home.

Our Pillar Grant committee seeks to recognize organizations whose projects demonstrate three key pillars of the Buckingham experience — conscientious planning, carefully articulated evidence and a commitment to “doing the right thing.” In 2018, the area of interest was Early Childhood Education.

The important work the firm’s 2018 Pillar Grant recipients will pursue includes:

Central Institute for the Deaf

Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) is a school where children, birth to age 12, who are deaf and hard of hearing, learn to listen, talk, read and succeed. CID partners with families and collaborates with universities, educators and other professionals worldwide to help children communicate to achieve their fullest potential. They prepare children to participate and succeed in their neighborhood schools. Generous private support makes them affordable for all.

Ready Readers

Ready Readers began in St. Louis in 1997, when Pat Simons, its founder, and three other St. Louisans organized to help prevent rather than remedial reading problems among children living in poverty. Volunteers would come to the classrooms, read and donate those books to every student so they could build a home library. Since then, the organization has galvanized more than 500 people who visit classrooms on a weekly basis to inspire children to love books and help them become strong readers. These visitors form strong bonds with their classroom, the teacher and the community of the school. They often go above and beyond their weekly reading session to make sure kids have clean clothes and school supplies when needed, host family literacy nights, chaperone literacy-based field trips and attend pre-school graduations. Through reading, Ready Readers is building bridges between communities so that we can all care and work towards providing children, regardless of socioeconomic or racial backgrounds, the same opportunity to learn and become strong readers and thinkers.

Community Partnership for Child Development

Community Partnership for Childhood Development (CPCD) is a fantastic organization that dutifully serves the El Paso County, Colorado, community, which includes the city of Colorado Springs. CPCD prepares children for success in school and in life by providing excellent comprehensive early childhood services in partnership with diverse families and the community. Since its inception, CPCD has successfully expanded its footprint from serving 300 children in 1987 to 1,800 children in over 60 classrooms present day.

Junior League of Denver

Since its inception, the Junior League of Denver (JLD) has dedicated itself to improving the Denver community through the effective action and leadership of its trained volunteers. Recognized as metro Denver’s leading women’s organization, the JLD develops civic leaders who are committed to improving and serving their community. The foundation of the organization is to provide opportunities for its members to become leaders and to engage with the community.

SouthSide Early Childhood Center In 1886, a group of women created the first “day nursery,” or child care center, west of the Mississippi River. Today, that historic organization is called SouthSide Early Childhood Center. SouthSide’s founders knew that providing childcare helped more than the child. They wanted to help solve the widespread problem of poverty in South St. Louis, and felt the best way to do this was helping families help themselves. Mothers paid five cents per day for a child to use the nursery. That same day, she could earn about one dollar at work. The early board members proudly told supporters that the nursery helped these mothers earn a living without offering charity. Today, 132 years later, SouthSide’s mission remains the same as they continue to serve the children and families of South City. Currently, 80% of their children come from families who are living in poverty.

Read Play Love

Read Play Love is an inclusive community that offers creative and educational experiences to empower children and build a culture of love. Their activities center on promoting literacy and education (Read) and creative freedom (Play) in a nurturing, inclusive environment (Love).

Chicago Youth Centers

Chicago Youth Centers (CYC) equalizes access to high quality youth development programs for children living in Chicago’s divested communities. By providing innovative early childhood and out-of-school time programs for children ages 3-18, CYC gives youth the tools, resources and opportunities needed to become engaged, well-rounded adults and to succeed in the 21st century workplace. Through academic enrichment and education, they are striving to achieve their vision “that our children will be the last generation of their families to live in poverty and violence.”

These seven organizations were carefully selected following a detailed review process. The committee sought applicants that demonstrated our three key pillars, which are the driving force behind the work we continue to do for our clients every day: efforts that are supported by carefully articulated evidence; conscientious planning that ensures the project is sustainable and addresses the long-term needs and goals of the organization; and, most of all, a commitment to “do the right thing.”

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© 2018, Buckingham Strategic Wealth®