THINK Together, a non-profit organization providing after-school learning programs to any child who needs them, has teamed with the Children and Families Commission of Orange County in a new funding partnership that ensures ongoing support for THINK Together’s programs for early childhood literacy and other areas.
Earlier this year, the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, an advocate group promoting health, wellness, and success for all Orange County’s young children, approved a one-time allocation of $5 million for THINK Together, which the organization then used to acquire an office facility in Santa Ana.
Through the partnership, THINK Together has been able to deliver early literacy programs across Orange County. Also approved was a 10-year collaboration, meant to bolster continual literacy and mathematics programs as well as ease THINK Together’s operating expenses..
The 52,600-sq.-foot facility on Fourth Street in Santa Ana will not only be home to THINK Together’s growing operations and staff, but will allow it to save $750,000 annually. “We will now be able to reinvest the money we would have otherwise paid in rent in countywide literacy and math programs for preschool-age children,” said Randy Barth, THINK Together CEO.
Studies show that early learning and math skills are vital to children’s long-term academic success. However, Barth has observed that of Orange County’s low-income students, less than 50 percent have access to early childhood education. The new contracts between THINK Together and The Children and Families Commission of Orange County will provide programs that will be able to serve more than 57,000 children and their families. The programs will target parents and their children between the ages of 0 and 5, using cost-effective tools to provide literacy, vocabulary and math skill in preparation for kindergarten. Other programs include physical and science activities.
Sandra Barry, chair of the commission, spoke about how the partnership will sustain the health and education of young Orange County children. “Our partnership ensures that early literacy and math programs that are critical to a child’s success, will continue well into the future,” she said. Last year, the commission supported learning programs at schools and clinics that were able to benefit 60,000 young children.
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