Devan's December column: Partnership for Children makes a difference

Well here we are…already half-way through December! It’s safe to say 2017 has been another great year.  Much of the focus on the programming side of the Community Foundation of Grundy County (CFGC) has revolved around youth this year.


In June, the Grundy Partnership for Children (GPC) began to reconvene after a year break.  GPC is a network of professionals who serve children, with a primary focus on the birth-5 population.  One of the goals of GPC is to ensure children have access to developmental screenings and that parents are well informed about healthy child development.  This year, GPC has developed a relationship with Morris Hospital and Healthcare Centers so information pertaining to developmental screenings or programs targeted toward young children is disbursed to all pediatrician offices.  GPC has also provided an opportunity for children aged birth-3 to be screened at the Grundy County Special Education Cooperative Pre-school Screenings.


Through the Business Education Council, Grundy Area Vocational Center and CFGC have once again hosted a hand-on 8th Grade Career Fair.  The fair was held in October with over 50 employers present to demonstrate what career options are available at their place of employment as well as discuss the education needed to enter specific careers.  Approximately 800 local 8th graders attended the event.  In addition to the career fair, the Grundy Chamber of Commerce and CFGC continued the Certificate of Employability program at Morris High School and Coal City High School.  This program educates freshmen on the soft skills (attendance, punctuality, cell phone usage on the job etc.) needed to obtain and retain their first job.  Students who participate hear from local business owners about their expectations.  Joliet Junior College/Grundy Workforce Services also educates the students on the proper way to complete a job application and provide an opportunity for mock job interviews.  Both of these programs begin to set the stage for future jobs or internships students may have.


The Youth Philanthropy Program is designed to instill the idea of philanthropy in our youth.  Youth involved in this program are able to learn about not-for-profits that serve their community as well as speak one on one with organizations they as a group choose to learn more about.  After hearing from the organizations, the students have the opportunity to provide a grant(s) to the organization(s) they choose.  This program has been active at Seneca High School and Coal City High School for the past several years.  I am happy to report Morris High School and Gardner South-Wilmington High School will begin in December as well!


I have no doubt that 2018 will bring opportunities to strengthen and grow our youth programming and involvement! May you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!