The importance of support and advocacy in a child’s life will be celebrated by Childcare Network of Evanston on Thursday, Nov. 8, at Terra restaurant in Evanston.

The fundraiser, called Iluminar, or “to light up” in Spanish, will include a special tasting menu from Terra, a whiskey tasting by the local FEW Spirits distillery, and fabulous raffle auction prizes.

Tickets are $60 each or two for $100. Proceeds will improve the early education and care systems for children in Evanston and surrounding communities. The event runs from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

“With friends from across the North Shore, we will be ‘lighting up’ the night with drink, food, and fun,” says Lara Trujillo Webb, the event co-chair.  “We look forward to a delightful and powerful evening that highlights personal stories of how Childcare Network of Evanston changes the lives of children and families in our region.”

“Iluminar will provide much needed support to improve our children’s lives,” says Andrea Densham, Executive Director. “We specifically work on early childhood issues because we know that by supporting a child to succeed early in life, you transform the trajectory of that child and its family. Proceeds from Iluminar will increase our reach and enhance our care for the most vulnerable children in our communities.”

With its supportive network of parents, teachers and providers, the Childcare Network of Evanston builds the foundation for a child’s success in school and in life.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Early Childhood Education—esp. low income

    The Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Heckman has an article in the New York Times today stating that we are mis-allocating educational funds especially for the low income groups.  He argues that more funding in the very early years [under three years old] for low income education would and has shown much greater benefits that having the funding shifted to later years.  I.e. the early education forms a foundation that enables children to make greater progress.
    Numerous studies have shown that early childhood education pretty much levels out with the progress children will make anyway by third grade.  It seems that is/may be true of the middle and upper classes but with lower income children there seems to be more doubt.
    In any event he and many call for more funding for lower income early education.  Of course everyone always claims more money will solve problems.  First the funds would have to go into schools [however defined].  The ability/education of the teachers to accomplish that is always a big question since unions and politicians have set standards [and protections] that reward other things than ability and results.  So whatever remuneration teachers get is based not on ability but longevity. [In some Asian countries teachers are highly respected and graduate in the top 2% of their university classes, degrees are in solid subjects—not math for education–and are paid very well].
    All that being said, I have to wonder if a major part of not just low income education but all through the ranks is parental education and involvement with their kids.   Low parental education is not something that can be made-up quickly—school programs may compensate for some of that.  It would seem parental involvement is the one feature that is very difficult for the schools to address.  How do you convince parents who may lack the time, education themselves or even interest in their children’s education—they may never have seen it important to them or realized what it could have meant for them.  Add to that crime, peer pressure, broken or single parent homes, etc. and there is a big gap that just increased early education funding may not be able to overcome.

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