FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2010
Vice President of Development
TAMPA, FL - (October 18, 2010) - Easter Seals Florida is pleased to announce the opening of two new Child Development Centers for teen parents getting their high school diplomas and is asking for the community’s help to stock the centers with items like bibs, crib sheets, furniture and developmental toys.
The new centers, a partnership with the School District of Hillsborough County, are located at Gary Adult Center in Tampa and South County School in Ruskin and join two centers operated by Easter Seals for over 10 years at D.W. Waters Career Center in West Tampa and Simmons Career Center in Plant City. The Hillsborough County School District has provided the space and many of the basic supplies in order for the centers to open. Easter Seals needs additional supplies to get the centers up to full capacity and to meet quality standards to get the centers accredited.
The program is designed to support teen parents in continuing their schooling while their infants and toddlers, two weeks to 36 months of age, are cared for in a quality early education setting. Teen mothers are less likely to complete high school (only one-third receive a high school diploma) and only 1.5% have a college degree by age 30. Teen mothers are more likely to end up on welfare (nearly 80 percent of unmarried teen mothers end up on welfare). "The children of teenage mothers have lower birth weights, are more likely to perform poorly in school, and are at greater risk of abuse and neglect," notes Easter Seals Florida's vice president of development, Tracy Clouser. "Our goal is help these children get and remain on track developmentally and prepare them to enter school without need of intervention."
Easter Seals has operated the two current child development centers for teen parents for twelve years. In addition to providing developmental early education to this high risk group of infants and toddlers, Easter Seals' staff provide support and guidance to help the teen parents balancing their school and parenting responsibilities. Easter Seals’ therapists provide guidance and advice to our teaching staff and teen parents on proper infant care and nutrition and provide consultations for children who display more serious developmental delays.
Easter Seals is asking for community donations to help stock the two new centers. Donations can be dropped off at Easter Seals, 2403 E. Henry Avenue, Tampa, Fla, 33610 or at the following drop off locations: Lakeshore Learning on Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa (Customers should mention they are buying items for Easter Seals and Lakeshore will give 10% merchandise credit to Easter Seals for items purchased at the Lakeshore Learning store) and Century 21 Beggins in Apollo Beach and Sun City Center.
Organizations and individuals interested in helping should visit http://fl.easterseals.com/biggestbabyshower or contact Tracy Clouser at 813-769-5925 for information on needed items and drop off locations.
About Easter Seals Florida
Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical and mental disabilities and other special needs. Easter Seals Florida was founded in 1948 and serves 40 of Florida’s 67 counties… helping children and adults with disabilities gain greater independence.
Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play in their communities.
In the Tampa Bay area, Easter Seals Florida provides developmental pre-school education, early intervention, and pediatric therapy services for young children with disabilities and special needs to help them achieve their maximum potential. Other statewide programs serving Tampa Bay area residents include Lifeline personal emergency response systems and accessible camping and recreation.
Learn more about helping children and adults with disabilities and special needs at www.fl.easterseals.com/tampa or call 813.988.7633.