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Early childhood: sara & Angelina

Education meant so much to Sara* that before her daughter Angelina* was born, she enrolled her in Kids Above All’s early learning program in Elgin. Sara needed help providing necessities like diapers for Angelina, but she also wanted to make sure that Angelina was prepared to succeed once she entered school. 

During their first in-home visit, Sara and her Kids Above All Parent Educator Kristina established goals for Angelina and talked about the significance of reading to jumpstart her daughter’s vocabulary and doing “tummy time” to strengthen her neck and back muscles.

Angelina loved “tummy time” and quickly learned to sit-up and crawl, and as her second birthday approached, Angelina also enjoyed playing with blocks, scribbling and reading with her mom, especially books with textures.

But Sara noticed that her daughter showed little interest in standing or walking.  She didn’t want Angelina to fall further behind in her development, so she talked with Kristina about how to help her daughter advance beyond crawling.

Kristina came to their next meeting with activities aimed at first getting Angelina to pull herself up to a standing position, but after hours of practice and multiple visits, Angelina showed little improvement.

Kristina knew they needed additional support so she connected Sara and Angelina with Mary, a licensed physical therapist with extensive experience working with children. Mary volunteered her time to join Kristina at their next session, teaching Sara new techniques to support Angelina’s efforts to stand and walk.

By the end of that visit, Angelina was able to stand up and confidently lower herself back down.

Sara and Angelina continued to use Mary’s advice and techniques while practicing at home, and when Kristina returned two weeks later, Angelina was climbing onto furniture and pushing around anything that wasn’t bolted to the floor.

After a while, Angelina took her first unsteady but independent steps. Sara was thrilled to witness her daughters’ resilience and see her achieve these important milestones.

“Without Kids Above All, Angelina would be behind, but now, she’s ready to grow up and have a good life.”

Kids Above All will ensure an additional 50 children and families who are at risk in Elgin and Lake County become ready to succeed in school as the result of two Illinois State Board of Education grants.

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