Our first year as “Root for Kids” was filled with nurturing partnerships and growth. We served 1,252 children and 58 pregnant women in Washington County and the Arizona Strip! There were a lot of memorable moments in 2019, but here are top 10:
This year, Root for Kids sponsored the Washington County Fair Baby Contest for the first time. Over 80 babies ages 3-36 months entered the contest online and 30 finalists moved on to the live judging phase at the fair. Each contestant received a Baby Contest t-shirt and an Early Childhood Activity Book created by Root for Kids.
9. Fit Kid Fair
A healthy life is a happier life! And that goes for babies and toddlers as well. In April, we hosted a Fit Kid fair event for families enrolled in Early Head Start and Parents as Teachers. Staff prepared and served a healthy dinner, planned obstacle courses for the kids and offered parent/child yoga classes.
8. Community Appreciation Day
The St. George Children’s Museum hosts a Community Appreciation Day on the first Thursday of the month. Admission is free for Washington County residents on that day. Root for Kids joined in on the fun and our staff is at the museum on that day from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. doing free hearing, vision and developmental screenings for children 3 and under.
7. Alumni Event
In November 2019, we had our first ever alumni event! We invited everyone who has graduated from our programs, their families and community members that support our mission for a private screening of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”. The event gathered over 160 people and was held at the Sunset Megaplex Theater in St. George. The Friends of TLC Foundation generously sponsored the event.
6. New Business Partners
St. George is one of the fastest growing communities in the country. So many wonderful businesses are coming to St. George and Root for Kids had the pleasure of partnering with several of them in 2019. Hash House a Go Go, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Axiom Chiropractic are among the new businesses in town that donated to Root for Kids.
The most wonderful time of the year is even more wonderful at Root for Kids. Our annual holiday Radioathon quickly became one of our favorite events! It’s so heartwarming seeing the community come together to donate, make financial contributions and volunteer. In 2019, we raised over $20,000 in cash and in-kind donations!
We love the children we serve and there’s nothing more fulfilling than seeing them healthy and ready for Kindergarten. Over 200 children graduated from our programs in 2019 and we celebrated with two graduation events (spring and winter).
Our Music & Play Studio became Kindermusik® certified in 2019 and gained a brand new room! On June 3, we invited the community to the ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate with us. Kindermusik classes are open to the public and classes are open enrollment.
2. U of U Physician Assistant Program
Every year we provide free dental clinics to children and families enrolled. In 2019, we were able to expand our health services reach thanks to a new partnership with the U of U Physician Program! They provided oral cancer screening at the dental clinics and Well Child exams at the 2nd annual health fair. Early Head Start parents also received a variety of screenings such as blood pressure, BMI, vision, hearing and depression at the health fair.
Our biggest fundraising event of the year was a magical night in the Secret Garden. We had a record of 25 sponsors and we were sold out more than a month before the event. Over 240 people attended the gala and between sponsorships, silent and live auctions, and ticket sales, we raised over $100,000. The gala keeps getting bigger and better every year, and we cannot wait to see what the 2020 event will be like.
We are grateful to be part of an incredible community and provide essential services to the little ones and their families. Thank you for another amazing year and helping us nurture strong beginnings.