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Your First Teacher's Name is Mommy

The Baby Fold's Healthy Start Program staff walk alongside first time parents who are facing extraordinary challenges that may make it difficult to bond with their babies. Our skilled staff visit new moms in their home and help them provide a safe and loving environment so that this brand new family can get off to a healthy start in life. One of the first gifts that we bring to the child is a "black and white" book. Babies can only see some of the color spectrum clearly, so this book has blocks of black and white images that babies can track. As the child grows, more books are supplied  that help parents and little ones learn to love favorite stories together. 

It Works!

It's amazing what can happen when children come to school ready to learn, and teachers are able to teach. The Baby Fold offers support to families at Fairview Elementary in Unit 5 as well several rural schools in our area. Our community schools and county out reach staff, along with public school teachers, and family become a team that surrounds a child who has had a history of school failure and behavioral challenges. Our staff creates a "team of support" around a child so that he or she can succeed in school. Public school teachers regularly express their gratitude that The Baby Fold is involved with local families. What happens when a child has a team working together? Everyone wins! Public school teachers can focus more of their time on teaching and kids who have their physical and emotional needs met can learn much more effectively. Win...win...win! If you like support winning teams, click here to support The Baby Fold.

Back to School Means More than Academics

 For most kids, back to school is an exciting time. New pens, crayons, gym shoes.... For some, it's an anxious time. New teachers, different schedule, learning and emotional challenges. At Hammitt School, our teachers address the needs of each child, academic and emotional. For example, in Kelsey McGill's classroom, the children made bottles filled with water and glitter to shake up. James likes to take out his bottle when math or spelling tries his patience. He vigorously shakes his bottle and takes a few deep breaths as he watches as the colorful glitter swirl around and then gently drift to the bottom of his bottle. As the colorful glitter settles, so does James. Then he's ready to tackle his school work again. Our goal at our Hammitt elementary and junior/senior high schools is to help children succeed academically and emotionally so that they can return to the public school in their community.

Attention State Farm Employees and Retirees!

The State Farm Foundation will now match your gifts to The Baby Fold up to $1500.00 per year per person! The Baby Fold kids refer to State Farm as "Saint Farm!" For information on how to double your gifts to The Baby Fold, you may reach the Foundation at (877) 369-0872, or use the online site for forms and information.

The Baby Fold Shares Its Expertise on a National Level

Our own Kathleen Bush was asked to present at the North American Council on Adoptable Children Conference to provide her expertise on how to help adoptive families connect in healthy ways. Kathleen heads our adoption preservation team. Adoption preservation services, called "Keeping the Promise" has been recognized as an outstanding program for stabilizing families who have adopted special needs children.

Run or Walk for Kids!

People run for a lot of reasons- for fun, for health, for competition, for social time with friends. On September 24-25, people will run to benefit the programs and initiatives of The Baby Fold. Volunteer or sign up to run/walk on the Twin Cities We Care Half Marathon website here and  be part of this amazing race!

New Leadership for Our Hammitt Schools

 Rhonda Howard, Director of Academic Services, comes to The Baby Fold with 23 years of special education experience. She started her career as a social worker in the public schools and then moved into administration. She served as the Special Education Administrator at Macon-Piatt Special Education District from 2001-2008 where she supervised the alternative programs, and was the Senior High Principal of an alternative school program in Champaign from 2008-2012. She was the Special Education Administrator with the Decatur Public Schools from 2012-2016 where she led services to over 300 students in a variety of programs. She holds Master's Degrees in both Educational Administration and Social Work as well as a specialist degree in education administration. Rhonda is expecting to complete her Doctorate in Education this December. We are
thrilled to have Rhonda leading our academic services as our new Director of Academic Services.