My Root for Kids Story: Class of 2019

On May 20, 2019 we celebrated over 100 children graduating from Root for Kids programs. Kids aging out of the programs between January and July are invited for a Spring Graduation event organized by Root for Kids. This graduation, we asked the parents to share a little bit about their journey with Root for Kids with us! Check out a few of the stories.

Hardy Family

“When we moved to the area in 2018, we had five children under 6 and one on the way. The love, support and guidance given by Root for Kids made this transition so much better. Our children love the visits and we feel like RFK is more friends and family than “just” a program. Our daughters and sons have truly grown with RFK and we love it!”

Class of 2019 | Root for Kids

Day Family

“My son was brought into the program worried that he might be behind on some skills. One year later he is graduating and is testing above average across the board! Thanks Root for Kids :)”

Class of 2019 | Root for Kids

Webb Family

“Hazel is the #10 child in our family and she was born with Down syndrome. We have absolutely loved the Root for Kids program. I am positive that Hazel has done so much better with the help of her specialists! I have grown to love each and every one of people, and so has Hazel. She has excelled in speech therapy, physical therapy and continues to amaze us each day. Thank you so much for giving our child this head start!”

Adams Family

“Being in a Root for Kids program has been one of the very best decisions we’ve made for out three children. Two of my kids weren’t able to speak very well and it was quite frustrating. With the help of many different RFK employees we’ve come so far, and found much great accomplishments and major growth. We love RFK, they are true heroes.”

Class of 2019 | Root for Kids

Gómez Family

“My Root for Kids story has been special for many reasons. I didn’t know about this program until my fourth child out of five, so I can tell the difference in the development of my son who was in the program compared to my three older children who were not. I can also notice the difference in us parents with what we have learned. Our family is very grateful for the program and for everyone who makes it possible for it to happen. Thank you very much for everything.”

Class of 2019 | Root for Kids

We love working with children and their families and help them receive the best start in life. You can also make a big impact in their lives by supporting Root for Kids! There are many ways to give – purchase tickets to The Secret Garden Gala, become a sponsor, donate an auction item, purchase a book or an item from our wish list.

2019 Utah Families Connect: Fit Kid Fair

Every year, Root for Kids joins all Parents as Teachers programs in Utah for the Utah Families Connect event. The theme this year at Root for Kids was developing healthy habits. Thus, staff prepared and served a healthy dinner, planned obstacle courses for the kids and offered parent/child yoga classes. About 50 families and 150 children came to event! Also, several organizations were invited to table at the event to provide community resources for the families. Check out our favorite moments from the Fit Kid Fair below.

Everyone loved the smoothie station at the event. Try them at home!

If you are interested in the Parents as Teachers program, fill out a referral form online.

New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program

Since 2002, Root for Kids partners with the Dixie State University Dental Hygiene program to provide free oral health services to children and pregnant moms enrolled in Early Head Start and Parents as Teachers. This year we expanded that partnership to include The University of Utah Physician Assistant (PA) program! On March 22, 2019 they joined us for the first time at our Root for Kids Dental Hygiene Clinic Day.

New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program | Root for Kids
New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program | Root for Kids

At the last clinic, 17 Root for Kids clients received cleanings, oral cancer screenings and got their vital signs checked. All children received topical fluoride and parents received education on oral care for themselves and their families. In addition, all participants received an age-appropriate oral kit for coming to the clinic. The U of U PA students worked together with DSU Dental Hygiene students on the patient’s health history and oral cancer screening. This collaboration is amazing as the students are learning from each other. They referred two adults out for services with a volunteer dentist and one child to an oral surgeon.

New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program | Root for Kids
New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program | Root for Kids

The students were supervised by staff and by Dr. Butler, Dr. Scholzen and Dr. Gutierrez, volunteer dentists. We are grateful for their time and passion as we would not be able to do this work without them. Root for Kids staff arranged their schedules to make sure they were there with the families they serve. They also provided interpretation for the Spanish-speaking families!

New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program | Root for Kids
New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program | Root for Kids

The services the PA students can offer is only going to grow for our Root for Kids families. We are excited for other special events we are going to host with them! To help support more events and partnerships like this, check out how you can become a sponsor.

New Partnership with U of U Physician Assistant Program | Root for Kids

The Gift of Reading

One of the best gifts we can give kids is a love for reading and then nurture that love. Book ownership increases literacy rates, which positively impact a child’s health, learning skills, life expectancy, and lifetime income. Needless to say, children’s books can change lives.

Our Early Head Start Literacy Program encourages enrolled parents to read at least 3 hours a month to their child. They record their hours and then we reward them with a book that has been donated. Last year the program piloted with 34 children and the average was 7.7 hours of reading per child. We give one book a month for each child enrolled and with 132 Early Head Start slots, our goal is to reward 132 books a month!

A post shared by Root for Kids (@rootforkids) on

March is National Reading Month, and Root for Kids is excited to announce a new partnership with Usborne Books & More. Here are a few ways you can help Root for Kids get books for the thousands of children we serve every year:

Purchase books for the kids in your life

When you purchase books for your kids, grandchildren, or any child in your life, Root for kids will receive 50% in FREE books! Example: When you purchase $50 in books for children in your life, Root for kids will receive $25 in books.

  1. Visit to purchase.
  2. Click Shop and Select “Root for Kids” as your event. You MUST select the event name “Root for Kids” for them to receive their books.

Purchase books directly for Root for Kids

Root for kids will receive the books you purchase plus receive an additional 50% in FREE books.

  1. Visit to purchase.
  2. Click Shop and Select “Root for Kids” as your event. You MUST select the event name “Root for Kids” for them to receive their books.
  3. Choose books you’d like to purchase for Root for Kids and under shipping select “Ship with Organization” and your books will be delivered to Root for Kids directly.
    • Book suggestions: select books from the category “Age Levels” – Babies & Toddlers or Preschool & Kindergarten.

Donate money to Root for Kids specifically to purchase books

There are so many options on the website that it can be hard to choose. You can always donate directly to Root for Kids and we will purchase the books we need. Books range between $1.99 to $79.99 (sets)

  1. Fill out the online donation form at
  2. Add “Usborne Books” to the comment box

Behind the Caterpillar Clubhouse Murals

It’s impossible not to smile when you walk into the Caterpillar Clubhouse. The beautiful artwork painted on the walls greets you and creates a welcoming environment for the kids. We talked to the talented artist behind the Caterpillar Clubhouse murals, Kallie Stewart to learn a little more about her and the whole process! Check out the story below.

About Kallie

I grew up in Farmington, Utah until I was 16, then moved to St. George, Utah.  I now live in beautiful Santa Clara, where I get to see all of the amazing landscapes of Southern Utah every day.  In January of 2017, I started working for Root for Kids (then The Learning Center for Families). 

I knew about the organization from previously working at WIC (Women, Infants and Children). I was ready for a change in employment and was very interested in being a part of the services that Root for Kids offers to the community. Currently, I work as a Family Support Specialist for the Early Head Start program, and I do not regret coming to work for Root for Kids for a single moment. It has been an amazing company to work for, with amazing coworkers and community members! 

I have been interested in art since I was a little girl. I took every art class I could get my hands on! Then I went on to get an Associate’s Degree from Utah Valley University in Fine Art. I have had the opportunity to do commissions involving portraits, murals, and interior design projects. I had the awesome opportunity of doing my first mural at my daughter’s preschool at the time, Desert Edge Montessori. 

Murals in the Baby Room

A few months after starting here, Suzanne (Root for Kids CEO) approached me about doing a mural for the re-branding of the daycare.  She gave me a few ideas that she wanted, but let me use my artistic judgement to design it.  The first installment was done in the baby room with a sleeping caterpillar and two butterflies. 

Caterpillar Clubhouse Murals | Root for Kids
Caterpillar Clubhouse Murals | Root for Kids
Caterpillar Clubhouse Murals | Root for Kids
Caterpillar Clubhouse Murals | Root for Kids

Nature Wonderland

Suzanne approached me again in the fall of 2018 about brightening up the hallway of the Caterpillar Clubhouse. We sat down and started brainstorming small with some grass, flower, butterflies, and caterpillars. Our creative juices started flowing and we ended up deciding to brighten up the whole hall. The ideas was to paint it a light blue and add a tree house aspect when you enter the hall. 

Caterpillar Clubhouse Murals | Root for Kids

Bill (Root for Kids Facilities Coordinator) helped us prep the walls, and Suzanne was a major sport. It was nice to see our CEO covered in blue paint as she painted the whole wall! She is so invested in the happiness of our little children in the Caterpillar Clubhouse. I then went on to give the hallway a nature wonderland theme to give the children the feel of being on the level of the caterpillars and butterflies. It has been so fun to see the faces of the kids (and the parents) light up as they enter.

I’m glad I could be a part of adding joy to the kids faces. It is so important for the children to enjoy, and feel at home in a space where they spend a portion of their day. Feel free to reach me at for any consults or projects that you would be interested in.

We are love how the Caterpillar Clubhouse looks now! We are so lucky to have Kallie in our team. If you are looking for high quality care for your child (0 to 5 years old), check out the Caterpillar Clubhouse page and fill out an application!

Top 10 Moments of 2018

2018 was a big year for Root for Kids (previously The Learning Center for Families). We celebrated our 25th Anniversary, changed our name and branding, built a new website, expanded our services and most importantly, we were able to serve 1,293 kids – more than ever before.

Take a look back with us to our top 10 moments of 2018!

10. Utah Families Connect Event

Our Parents as Teachers (PAT) program participated in a state-wide event with eight other PAT programs across Utah. The event brought together 16 parents and 41 children to enjoy a night of food, fun and learning at our St. George location. If you are interested in signing up for PAT, just fill out a referral form and we’ll be in touch!

Top 10 Moments of 2018 | Root for Kids

9. Fall Family Festival

Another family favorite event we host every year is the Fall Family Festival in October. The kids got to dress up in costumes, get their face painted, and play fun games. Also, the DSU Dental Hygiene team came out to volunteer and do free fluoride varnishes in the kids!

Top 10 Moments of 2018 | Root for Kids

8. Ribbon-cutting Ceremony

After announcing our new name and branding in our 25th Anniversary gala, we invited the community for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The St. George Chamber of Commerce came to support the event as well as other community leaders and business people.

Top 10 Moments of 2018 | Root for Kids

7. Monthly Food Pantry Events

In a partnership with the Utah Food Bank, we started to host monthly food pantry events in August 2018. All families served by our programs were invited to come receive 10-12 food items, and if they weren’t able to make the trip, our staff delivered the boxes. We are so grateful for this partnership that has made such a difference in the lives of the families!

Top 10 Moments of 2018 | Root for Kids

6. Volunteers

Every month individuals and groups came to Root for Kids to volunteer in a variety of projects. From bundling diapers and putting together “I Spy” bottles to repairing garden boxes and building a trike track, we couldn’t have had a successful year without our volunteers!

Top 10 Moments of 2018 | Root for Kids

5. 3nd Annual Radioathon

There’s nothing like the spirit of giving during the holiday season! We were fortunate to partner up with Red Rock Broadcasting to host our 3rd Annual Radioathon on December 5. It was 13 awesome hours of fundraising – hundreds of cars driving by to drop off change and in-kind donations, sponsors being interviewed on air, families sharing their stories live and volunteers working on several different projects.

Radioathon | Root for Kids

4. Caterpillar Clubhouse Annual Health Fair

The Caterpillar Clubhouse celebrated its first year in 2018. We also hosted our first annual health fair in April, which provided free health screenings and services to 23 children enrolled in child care. One of the moms shared that her son “went and did all the tests and past most of them. When we did the vision screening he failed. I was really surprised because he hasn’t showed any signs of needing glasses! I later took him to the eye doctor. Come to find out that my son does need glasses. If it wasn’t for the Health Fair I wouldn’t have known that he needed glasses until later in life!”.

The Caterpillar Clubhouse is now enrolling 0-5 year olds!

Top 10 Moments of 2018 | Root for Kids

3. Dental Clinics at DSU

Twice a year several dental hygienists, dentists and students come together to offer free services for enrolled families. They do everything from maintenance to actual dental work that needs to be done. We are so grateful for their partnership! Thank you for helping so many children and pregnant women in our community.

Top 10 Moments of 2018 | Root for Kids

2. Spring and Winter Graduations

Few things are cuter than 3-year olds in caps and gowns receiving their diplomas. Such a big part of what we do is making sure the children and families are ready to be on their own after completing our programs. And we celebrate that milestone with two graduation events every year, one in the spring and the other in the winter. In 2018, 206 children graduated from Root for Kids!

Top 10 Moments of 2018 | Root for Kids

1. 25th Anniversary Gala

The biggest party of the year was definitely our 25th Anniversary Gala on September 22. For 25 years, Root for Kids (then The Learning Center for Families) promoted the success of children by providing access to resources, early education, early intervention and health services. The gala gave us an opportunity to nurture relationships with old friends and make new ones. We also revealed our new name and logo at the party, which was well-received and celebrated. Thank you to all the amazing donors we have and everyone who was part of that special night. We’re looking forward to our next gala!

Top 10 Moments of 2018 | Root for Kids

We had so many incredible moments in 2018 that is was hard to pick only ten. Here’s to a 2019 filled with accomplishments and success stories! If you’d like to contribute to our goal of nurturing strong beginnings, please consider making a donation.