WXXI AM News

Walmart Foundation grant for United Way's childhood home visitation programs

Aug 22, 2017

The United Way of Greater Rochester will use a $150,000  grant from the Walmart Foundation to enhance its early childhood home visitation program with the goal of helping 800 low income parents in the Rochester area this year.

The United Way's home visitation trilogy of programs -- Nurse-Family Partnership, Parents as Teaches, and Building Healthy Children -- helps new parents during the early stages of pregnancy through the early years of a child's life.

United Way President and CEO Fran Weisberg says a parent is a child's first great teacher, and the programs help parents and their children build healthier lives.

"It really helps with improved parenting practices, and to reduce childhood malnutrition.  It improves early detection of developmental delays and many different health issues and really increases school readiness," she said.  "Home visitation and early childhood supports were one of the two priority areas of the poverty initiative.  You know we as a whole community come together and said that we're going to decrease poverty by 50 percent in the next 15 years."

Walmart's Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations, Jason Klipa says the Foundation looks to serve communities across the country and help cities like Rochester address the issue of poverty.

"We're looking to help people raise up out of poverty, help people with economic opportunity. We have several stores in the Rochester community, so this is just a perfect fit for the foundation," he said.

Klipa says the Foundation understands the earlier you can get involved with children and help support the families, the better the outcomes.