Whether you want to make the most of your charitable giving, or your business wants to create meaningful partnerships that make a difference - this week's program on community partnerships will inspire you. So many great non-profit organizations need support, whether it's financial or volunteer man-hours. When they can partner with businesses, it becomes a mutually beneficial way to gain funds or recognition for their great work.
This week Jan Mazotti, along with Cristin Tarr of Business Service Corps, talks with three great organizations that have great relationships with area businesses.
First up is Listen Foundation -- helping deaf and hard of hearing children to realize their full potential by emphasizing listening and practicing speech. Without the benefit of this program, most deaf children are never able to communicate fully with their own families, teachers and friends. As a result, those deaf students who sign, by age 17 have typically reached only a third or fourth grade reading level. Forty-five percent of deaf children who sign don't graduate from high school, and only five percent go on to college.
Listen Foundation's goal is to for everyone to know that this method exists, since it's imperative to reach deaf children in infancy through age three, the most critical years for brain development, language development and forming the connections for future learning. Without knowledge of Listen Foundation's program, the first exposure to a hearing professional is someone who promotes sign language - bypassing the opportunity for learning oral language.
Auditory Verbal Language training is so effective that it needs to be available to all children, not only those children whose parents can afford it. That's why donations are so very important to the program.
The Audubon Society of Greater Denver -- helps bring nature to urban schools through education programs, both in schools and on site at the nature center. The Audubon Society delivers supplemental content to classrooms, including nature, biology, and ecology, helping teachers to teach science. They also arrange field trips to the nature center for hands-on learning and time actually spent outdoors.
Getting children to the nature center from some urban schools can be costly. Donations help to fund bus trips to the center located in South Denver - a good distance from many metro schools.
The Audubon Society would also like to partner with different businesses and corporations for expertise in marketing, accounting, and publicity efforts -- as well as board member and volunteers for the nature center.
Denver Kids Inc. -- is a great partnership program in the Denver Metro, established to work with kids from Kindergarten to twelfth grade who face personal challenges and high risk environments to help them complete high school.
The program focuses on students who live at or below the poverty line as well as those coming from single parent homes, which make up 82 percent of kids in the program. Denver Kids Inc. students are matched with an educational counselor who helps them overcome any barriers they may have to success, and a volunteer mentor who also helps them through the program.
Compared to Denver Public School's 56 percent graduation rate, students in the Denver Kids Inc. program have a 91 percent graduation rate. It's even more impressive when one considers, the demographic Denver Kids Inc. serves has a typical 36 percent graduation rate.
The program needs volunteers willing to make a commitment. Although Kids Inc. requires only a one year commitment, most mentors stay with the program for five years. Surely that proves, it must be very rewarding to help kids succeed.
Listen to the entire Connect & Collaborate program this Saturday at 10:00 AM on KNUS 710 – or download our podcast – you’ll find it at the top of this article.