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Collaborative for Children No Show Luncheon Raises Nearly $200,000

By: Debra Ford
| Published 10/15/2020

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HOUSTON, TX - Collaborative for Children raised nearly $200,000 with its virtual No Show Luncheon hosted October 14. Collaborative for Children CEO Dr. Melanie Johnson was joined by the event’s presenting sponsor Steve Kean, of The Kean Family Foundation, sharing the agency’s strategic vision for the future. Sponsors and guests watched a special video presentation outlining Collaborative for Children’s commitment to providing children ages 0 to 5 with innovative early learning opportunities designed to build future leaders, foster critical 21st century skills and achieve school readiness.

Funds support early learning resources for Houston’s most vulnerable young children


Working with parents, caregivers, and educators for 33 years, Collaborative for Children has been a leading architect using its collective ingenuity to usher in a future bright with possibilities for every child no matter the circumstances. In 2020, the organization worked hand in hand with the Texas Workforce Commission and city and county officials to help more than 9,000 essential workers find quality child care with its online website findchildcarenow.org. It also recently launched a unique business accelerator program to provide child care centers with business development training and high-quality early learning resources so that they may become Centers of Excellence.

Additionally, Collaborative for Children will soon unveil a high-tech learning experience on wheels, which will travel to under-resourced neighborhoods with 21st century programming on board to improve children’s outcomes in literacy, math, and social-emotional development.

“Our focus is readying young children for the 21st century. Our vision is to achieve educational equity for all children, and we are constantly evaluating how best to accomplish this,” Johnson said. “That is why we encourage business leaders, area families and individuals who care about the future of our city to recognize the importance that these young minds play in Houston’s success. Getting our children workforce ready starts between 0 and 5 years old.

“While we are genuinely excited about the future, it must start today, and financial support is needed now more than ever,” Johnson said. “We’re so grateful to the many supporters who have already recognized that our future workforce depends on our children.”

“Kids get kicked out of pre-K at six times the rate of getting kicked out of K-12,” said Steve Kean, of The Kean Family Foundation. “In many cases, that’s boys and that’s tragic. That’s a shame, and it’s an opportunity. Collaborative for Children enables us to capture that opportunity by providing early learning blocks for long-term success.”

The luncheon was presented by The Kean Family Foundation, and supported by PNC, Community Health Choice, April and Rob Eschweiler, CenterPoint Energy, Enbridge, Julie and Drew Alexander and Wells Fargo. Other support provided by Dorothy Ables, Allison Falender and Leon Rubinstein, H-E-B, Richard and Ginni Mithoff, Glenna Pierpoint, Laura Sayavedra, Anna and Charlie Schwartzel, Jennifer and David Strauss and Caren and Rob Sweetland. To learn more about Collaborative for Children’s work in the greater Houston-area, visit collabforchildren.org.

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