National Children’s Awareness Month
June is National Children’s Awareness Month. Cornerstones works on behalf of the special needs of our youngest clients through programs that provide resources and care to help our kids excel and feel a sense of normalcy and belonging.
Childhood is a critical time for all, often setting the course for an individual’s overall social, emotional and physical health as well as economic circumstances. Young children in particular (3-5 years of age) who receive high quality early education care see tremendous dividends later in childhood and for the rest of their lives, including: higher performance once they begin school, increased likelihood of attending college, higher lifetime earnings, and reduced likelihood of being involved in the justice system.
Cornerstones recognizes the needs and potential of our youngest clients and strives to aid our kids on a path to excellence. Cornerstones provides services to children through:
- Stable Housing, a primary focus for Cornerstones, moving children and families from the Embry Rucker Shelter into supportive or permanent community housing through our Rapid Re-Housing program that is part of the Fairfax County 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. Children in shelter, in supportive housing or who are living in one of our 100 affordable rental homes receive specialized support to reduce the trauma of homelessness and restore their resiliency.
- Laurel Learning Center, our childcare center, which provides safe, high-quality and affordable childcare for children from infancy through 6th grade including full-time care for infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers; before and after-school care for school-age children; and academic enrichment and full summer programming options.
- Herndon Neighborhood Resource Center and Connections for Hope Partnership, offering tutoring and homework assistance for children in grades 3 – 7, in order to provide academic support to any children whose parents are not able to help with their homework due to language barriers and/or long work hours. Our resource centers also connect kids to additional community resources for academic support or extra-curricular activities.
Through diverse programs and our wide network of partner nonprofits, Cornerstones provide a full scope of resources for our community’s at-risk children.
Here are some ways that YOU can be a Cornerstone to a child in need:
- Volunteer: Cornerstones pairs volunteer tutors and mentors to children in our community in order to help our kids engage their intellect and creativity. All skill sets are welcome and appreciated. Are you a female working in a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) field? Volunteer with the Herndon Pearl Project chapter, which encourages 5th – 8th grade girls from diverse socio-economic, racial and cultural backgrounds to embrace math and science through hands-on afterschool activities and female STEM role models. Are you a computer whiz? Help familiarize children with computers and technology through our Computer Technology Program or Robotics team, or assist kids afterschoool with their homework.
- Become an Advocate: Our advocacy team supports policies at the federal, state and local level that provide needed supports for low-income children and their parents. In particular, we support policies and programs that improve access to: child care vouchers for at-risk families to allow single parents to work consistent hours; access to home visiting services for parents of infants, referrals to community resources, and education and training to ensure child, maternal and family health; and access to health insurance for low-income families so that all children will have both routine and emergency medical care within reach.
- Donate: Our programs are made possible by the generosity of this community! Click here to donate online.
- $5,000 moves a family with children out of the Embry Rucker Shelter into a stable housing environment and moves them one-step further toward a healthier, more stable life.
- $8,500 provides tuition support for children to benefit from safe, nurturing childcare at Laurel Learning Center.
- $10,000 underwrites the opportunity for children to participate educational and enrichment activities provided at Connections for Hope and Herndon Neighborhood Resource Center.
Kerrie Wilson, CEO