United Way to establish kids project in Carroll

Agency seeking input from parents, community

March 26, 2001|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,SUN STAFF

United Way of Central Maryland will spend $500,000 over the next five years for an early childhood initiative, Success by 6, in Carroll County.

A brainstorming meeting be from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Human Services Programs of Carroll County at 10 Distillery Drive, Westminster. The meeting is open to anyone, especially those who work with young children up to age 6 and parents of preschoolers, organizers say.

Success by 6 is a program created by United Way and launched in Baltimore two years ago. The Baltimore program was started to decrease infant mortality rates and child abuse and neglect, and to help prepare children for school, said Julie Lincoln, United Way communications director.

"The program is very localized and customized for the needs of the community it serves," she said. "We know what we've done in Baltimore and we have some very preliminary ideas about what we want to do in Carroll."

But United Way wants to know what is needed in Carroll to ensure that children are healthy and ready to attend and do well in school.

"The agenda is to invite as many people as we can to see where there are gaps in programs and goals to get children ready for school," said Audrey Cimino, chairwoman of Success by 6 in Carroll County. "We'll put together data from the meeting and put together a committee that will present that information to United Way.

"We need to know who you are, what you are doing that works, what you need and what would you do with the money if you had it. We need to know what's working and what's not working in the county," Cimino said. "This meeting is kind of a think tank and hopefully out of that will come a proposal to get the money and divvy it up among providers."

Muriel Gates Cromwell, coordinator of Success by 6 for United Way, will explain the program to meeting participants, then it will be the group's task to target needs in Carroll County, Cimino said.

In Carroll, sponsoring agencies are the Community Foundation of Carroll County, of which Cimino is executive director; Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County; Local Management Board of Carroll County, which works with state funding; and the United Way Partnership Board.

Information: Julie Lincoln, 410- 895-1475, or Audrey Cimino, 410- 876-5505.

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