ELCHC Newsletter: Q1 July-September 2023
A Message from the CEO
As we enter the second quarter of our fiscal year, I’m thrilled to share some exciting developments at the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County. Thanks to additional funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, we’ve extended our support to early childhood education providers across our community, ensuring they have the tools and resources they need to improve their programs and that more children have access to high-quality educational experiences. This infusion of resources has had a profound impact, allowing us to expand our reach and deepen our commitment to nurturing the next generation of learners.
I’m also excited to report the resounding success of our inaugural Education of Young Children Summit, held on September 21, 2023, which brought together passionate business and community leaders to better understand the state of early education and its impact on Hillsborough County’s workforce. The summit was a testament to our community’s dedication to young learners and their families. It sparked dynamic conversations at the tables and facilitated valuable networking opportunities. We look forward to building on this success and making the next summit more impactful.
In this new fiscal year, we remain steadfast in our mission to ensure that every child in Hillsborough County has the best possible start in life through quality early learning experiences. With your continued support, we are confident that we can achieve even greater milestones and create a brighter future for our youngest residents.
Thank you for being an essential part of our journey.
Meet the Team
Building Bright Futures Together
Baker & Emily Mayfield Foundation
On August 27th, 2023, Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield and his wife launched their inaugural fundraiser for the newly established Mayfield Foundation. The foundation aims to support others in overcoming life’s challenges and becoming the best versions of themselves by offering programs, scholarships, and philanthropic opportunities. The proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County.
The event, hosted at Topgolf, attracted a diverse crowd, including notable figures like recent Hall of Famer Ronde Barber and local philanthropists. The emcees for the evening were local HGTV personalities Brian and Mika Klienschmidt.
The Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County expressed gratitude for being chosen as the recipient of the proceeds, considering it a special honor. The involvement of prominent local personalities like Brian and Mika Klienschmidt brought unprecedented attention to the Coalition, as evidenced by a video from the event garnering 290,000 views, almost 9,000 likes, and 317 shares.
The funds raised during the event exceeded $50,000 and will support families accessing the School Readiness program.
Education of Young Children Summit 2023
The Education of Young Children Summit occurred Thursday, September 21st, at The Portico Community Hall. The Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County (ELCHC) invited Tampa Bay businesses to join us for an informal conversation about the economic changes our community faces and the impact early learning has on these at the state, regional, and local levels.
The community faces poverty rates and economic challenges that we must tackle together. In Hillsborough County, nearly 50% of kindergartners do not assess ready to learn. Not prepared means they cannot demonstrate a complete understanding of their ABCs and 123s by age 5. With that goal in mind, the lineup of speakers included President and CEO of Metropolitan Ministries Tim Marks as a local thoughtful innovator, and Bemetra Simmons, the President and CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership, to bring awareness of the Tampa Bay Regional Competitiveness Report and shared the commitment to improving Tampa Bay residents’ personal and economic well-being.
The keynote for the afternoon was Mark Wilson, President and CEO of Florida’s largest and most influential business advocacy organization. Wilson leads the substantial political, lobbying, grassroots, and economic research operations of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. The Florida Chamber focuses on creating a business climate that generates prosperity and high-paying jobs, vibrant communities, and global competitiveness in the state of Florida by focusing on job creation and the Six Pillars of Florida’s Future Economy: Talent Supply and education, Innovation & Economic Development, Infrastructure & Growth Leadership, Business Climate & Competitiveness, Civic & Governance Systems and Quality of Life & Quality Places.
At the Summit we engaged a room filled with new partners and friends to the ELCHC, each providing context and insights into how to better design an early care and education system in Hillsborough County that will continue to elevate our current love of Tampa Bay and set us up to stay there for generations to come. This was our first step in this conversation, and we will provide insights into the next steps of the Summit throughout the coming months.
Empowering Early Literacy
In Collaboration with ECHO of Riverview, Enterprising Latinas, and Beth-El, the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County launched the first three free book stands through funding from Tampa Community Foundation last quarter. Since then, over 900 books have been provided to the sites to encourage literacy throughout the South County.
Currently in Hillsborough County, half of our children are not prepared for Kindergarten. More specifically, focusing on the schools in the South County area, it was discovered that the reading scores in the surrounding Elementary schools of the selected sites were, on average ,less than 35%. Studies have shown a 2-year-old with a larger oral vocabulary showed great math and reading achievement but also had displayed an increase behavioral self-regulation at kindergarten entry.
Through this initiative focused on children birth to five, the Early Learning Coalition plans to connect families to our resources, encourage parent engagement and literacy, and grow partnerships and advocates in our communities that most need it.
Learn About our Impact
Read our FY 2022-2023 Annual Report