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One Hope United receives $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley

Funds to help build Aurora Early Learning Center

CHICAGO, Ill. (July 14, 2010)—One Hope United (OHU) received a $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley to be used toward the construction of the Aurora Early Learning Center, an early childhood education center being constructed to serve the needs of 200 children and families on the east side of the city.

One Hope United is a nonprofit human service agency dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families through a diverse array of services including child development, child abuse prevention and family preservation programs as well as counseling, youth and placement services. During the past year, OHU served more than 15,000 children and families through combined services offered in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Florida, and more than 1,600 children and families through ten child care centers in the Chicago area.

“We are excited to lead this early education project in the Aurora community and appreciate the tremendous demonstration of support from the foundation for this important community project,” said Mark McHugh, OHU executive director. “Research shows that for every dollar invested in high-quality early education, communities see a $16 return on the investment through factors like improved outcomes in school and higher rates of high school completion.”

The City of Aurora shows significant need for full-day early education and child care services—a need which the new center will help fulfill. Current resources serve only 31 percent of children in need, leaving 7,300 children without a full-day, full-year program. Of those, 2,400 qualify for state-subsidized child care (statistics from a March 2008 update to IFF’s 2003 “Moving Towards a System” report on statewide early childhood care and education in Illinois).

Beyond providing high-quality early education and child care for low-income working families, the Aurora Early Learning Center’s teaching curriculum will promote a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle for the children and families it serves. The facility itself will be a Silver LEED Certified Green Building. Many center staff will be bilingual.

Each OHU child care center creates an environment that encourages the social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of children within the distinctive community in which the center resides. OHU also offers additional support services to parents, including individual and family counseling, from its extensive offering of nonprofit programs and services that focus on the strengthening families.

The initiative to create the Aurora Early Learning Center is a collaboration among the City of Aurora, IFF (formerly the Illinois Facilities Fund) and OHU. IFF will act as a developer for the project. Other collaborators have been engaged in order to ensure success of the initiative and maximize community impact.

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About One Hope United

One Hope United is a private human service organization dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families. One Hope United offers a diverse array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs. One Hope United also specializes in child welfare system management, reform, consultation and training. With principal offices in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Florida, One Hope United serves nearly 15,000 children and their families across the country each year. For more information, visit www.onehopeunited.wpengine.com.

About the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley

The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley is a nonprofit, tax-exempt philanthropic organization that administers individual charitable funds and distributes grants and scholarships to benefit the citizens of the Fox River Valley in Illinois. For more information, visit www.CommunityFoundationFRV.org.