Volunteers in Champaign-Urbana Join Forces To Help Prepare Kids For School & Adulthood

CU Cradle2Career co-directors Lee Ann Kelly and Denise Martin.

Lee Ann Kelly (left) and Denise Martin, co-directors of CU Cradle2Career.

Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media

A volunteer group dedicated to preparing children in Champaign-Urbana for school and career is looking for more members. CU Cradle2Career, or CUC2C for short, follows the collective impact model, in which volunteers from across the community join together to work on a common goal. In this case, it’s making sure that children have the support and preparation they need to be successful.

Co-Director Lee Ann Kelly said they’re finding a wide range of volunteers interested in tackling the problem.

 “You bring them to the table around goals that they are personally interested in --- kindergarten readiness, academic success, graduation from high school --- things they are willing to be vested in,” said Kelly at a news conference Wednesday held to publicize CUC2C

A summer Readiness Camp for kindergartners served as a pilot project for CUC2C. Kelly says they’re now preparing to launch a program to instill socio-emotional skills in pre-school children, so they can function well in school. Kelly says the project will receive funding from a grant from the Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation.

Illinois Public Media’s Community Content and Engagement Director, Kimberlie Kranich, is among more than 100 members of CUC2C’s Leadership Council. Other members come from local businesses, churches, schools, the University of Illinois, and the general public. Kelly says they're looking for more people to serve on the Leadership Council and provide other volunteer help in a wide range of tasks.

Story source: WILL