“I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” These song lyrics originally recorded in 1977 remain relevant today. The longevity of any community is dependent on the wellbeing of its children. Recognizing this truth, the Bainum Family Foundation made a significant impact in Orlando through their gift of $12.75 million.
Their generosity will support the West Lakes Early Learning Center and is the result of a partnership between AdventHealth for Children, Bainum Family Foundation, LIFT Orlando, Primrose Schools and other organizations.
“High-quality early learning is critical to a child’s healthy development and long-term wellbeing, but children living in poverty often don’t have access to the same supports and resources as their counterparts in more affluent neighborhoods,” said Barbara Bainum, chairman of the board, CEO and president of the Bainum Family Foundation.
“Our organizations have a shared interest in providing services and supports to low-income communities to create opportunity,” said David Daniels, vice president of operations and organizational effectiveness for the Bainum Family Foundation, in reference to the partnership with LIFT Orlando.
Strategically located in the West Lakes neighborhood near Camping World Stadium, the new learning center will be in an area identified as a priority by LIFT Orlando’s revitalization plans.
West Lakes Early Learning Center will have a blended curriculum based on Primrose Schools’ “Balanced Learning” and AdventHealth’s “CREATION Kids Curriculum,” a child-friendly model of AdventHealth’s CREATION Life educational program.
Opening in August for the 2019-2020 school year, the center will serve approximately 220 children from six weeks to age 5. Also, it will offer comprehensive family services including social support, health and wellness programs, and early literacy outreach in the community.
“AdventHealth is investing in the early-learning space because we know the first five years of a child’s life are the most important to their long-term health and success,” said Debbie Spielman, vice president and chief operating officer of AdventHealth for Children. “Our whole organization has embraced the effort to go deep into this community and help deliver high-quality cradle-to-career education, which is part of our longtime support of LIFT’s holistic mission of neighborhood revitalization.”
The Bainum Family Foundation was founded in 1968 by Stewart and Jane Bainum and for over 50 years has helped underserved children exit poverty through high-quality educational programs. Based in Bethesda, Maryland, this foundation has a passion for supporting the whole child by providing integrated techniques such as wrap-around services that incorporate other community organizations to help the child and family thrive.