Tag Archives: LaGrange

PAT – Parents as Teachers

Early Childhood Alliance is building better futures in LaGrange County by partnering with parents, grandparents and local early intervention resources. The program is Parents as Teachers, PAT, and focuses on the individual strengths of each family to provide early learning experiences for their children. PAT supports parents as their child’s first and most influential teacher. PAT meets with families whose children are most at risk for school success.

This year Early Childhood Alliance was able to serve 10 families through the PAT program, servicing roughly 22 children. Families participating in PAT have children ranging in age from prenatal to age six. Families involved may have one or more barrier that may hinder the child’s readiness for school and ultimately school success. Some barriers may include, low income levels, low family education and English language learners.

The PAT program provides the opportunity to fill a gap in the community, providing support to parents through age 6, whereas other programs serve families up to age three.

Early Childhood Alliance is pleased to report that 80% of families indicated an increase in three or more of the nine critical areas of parenting skill and knowledge. Four children graduating the program will enter kindergarten, 100% have demonstrated they have the skills to be ready!

The PAT program was funded in part by a Community Impact Grant from the LaGrange County Community Foundation.

Inspire Generosity

What can you do with $55,000? For the Knights of Pythias LaGrange Lodge no. 144 they made a last goodwill gift. The fraternal organization made the difficult decision to disband after 135 years.

The Knights sponsored Little League baseball teams, supported police departments and gave to local nonprofits. At the Corn School street festival, the Knight’s caramel apples were a favorite treat and helped fund some of their charitable endeavors.

Mahlon Bontrager, a Knight and former Community Foundation Board Member, encouraged the group to consider creating a permanent fund for the community. The timing for the Knight’s gift was serendipitous. One month before, Lilly Endowment announced a matching grant for the Community Foundation. Any gift to an unrestricted fund would be eligible for a 2-for-1 match. Inspired by the opportunity, the Knights created an unrestricted endowed fund to support community needs. What had been a gift of $55,000 now became $165,000.

Because of their generosity, LaGrange County will continue to reap the reward. Income from the fund will made available for grantmaking as directed by the Board of Directors.

 “The members of our Lodge no. 144 feel very fortunate to have our donation grow and benefit several organizations thanks to the LaGrange County Community Foundation,” says Gordon Olds, a member of the Knights.