(OMAHA, Neb.) Heartland Family Service is pleased to announce it was recently awarded a $90,000 one-year grant from United Way of the Midlands.

Thanks to the generosity of the United Way donors, Heartland Family Service is able to continue assisting refugee parents and caregivers as their children enter the American school system.

The Ready in 5 program is a community-wide effort, reaching parents and their children in local neighborhoods and the cultural community in which they live. Ready in 5 provides weekly early childhood education programs in community homes for groups of families and their children. Parents are educated in early childhood best practices and taught how to implement cognitive and social skill building as a part of their day-to-day routines.

With the help of this grant Heartland Family Service is able to assist refugee parents and their children to develop the skills in academic, social, and overall readiness needed for entering the American school system/kindergarten.

The Ready in 5 program helps clients like Paw Htoo, a refugee woman, who came to Heartland Family Service with a 3-year-old child whose academic, social, and fine motor skills were very underdeveloped. At the Ready in 5 program, Paw Htoo and her daughter participated in activities that included circle time, music and movement, arts activities, and other academic readiness activities, that improved the child’s ability to interact with other children and the environment while engaging her academically. This helped to assure Paw Htoo that her daughter would not fall behind as she entered kindergarten.

“We appreciate our long-standing strategic partnership with United Way and know their investments in our work make a difference, provide hope for the future, and help to save people’s lives,” said John Jeanetta, President and CEO of Heartland Family Service.

About United Way of the Midlands
United Way of the Midlands (UWM) has served the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro for more than 95 years. Guided by best practices and community input, it approaches poverty in a specific way – a “united” way. With the support of volunteers, community partners and donors, UWM invests donor dollars efficiently and effectively in our local community. These dollars fund basic needs, education and financial stability programs at local nonprofits, creating a circle of support for people in need. Please visit unitedwaymidlands.org for more information.

About Heartland Family Service
Since 1875, Heartland Family Service has responded to the needs of our area’s most vulnerable children and families. Last year, our agency connected with over 79,000 individuals through direct services, education, and outreach. Our programs serve individuals of all ages — from infants in our Family Works program to seniors in our Generations Community Center. We operate from over 15 locations in east central Nebraska and southwest Iowa. We provide critical human services to the individuals and families who ultimately shape the future of our community, through the following program areas: Child & Family Well-Being, Counseling & Prevention, and Housing, Safety, & Financial Stability.