Our United Voice

What Children Need The Most In Order To Learn Isn't Always In The Classroom

Monday, April 7, 2014

By Kimberly Broecker
Learning is far more than just reading, writing and arithmetic. Education is about the whole child and the whole family. Learning truly begins on the most basic of levels.

After all, a child who is hungry won't be able to concentrate in class. A child who lacks a coat isn't able to play on the playground during cold months and unable to learn needed social skills gained from playing with other kids. Any parent or grandparent who is overwhelmed won't be able to provide the stability that is needed for a child to learn. And a single working mother can't always afford to take precious time off from work to see to the physical needs of her child.  

That’s where Metro United Way’s Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) are making an impact every day.  From their first month to six years old, your child is developing skills that set the foundation for lifelong success. By doing some fun, simple activities together and filling out the ASQ, you are able to monitor your child and make sure they’re on track. The ASQ makes it easy for parents to understand how their child is developing. But beyond that, the ASQ provides tools to help children as they continue to learn and grow.

And we are creating success stories every day. Because a parent completed an ASQ survey, a hungry child in our community received the location of a Kids Café near her. In another case, a child who didn't own a jacket was given the name and number of an organization with a coat closet.

It doesn’t stop with children; we are impacting lives of parents and caregivers as well. A grandparent who was suddenly faced with raising their grandchild was provided with the resources needed to obtain food stamps, Kinship Care and support from other grandparents.

In another instance, a young mom who was both helping to raise her younger brothers and was caring for her own child with special needs was provided with a TARC ticket. This allowed her to enroll her child into Headstart. And a domestic violence survivor who was strong enough to walk away but unable to take time off work was provided with the names and numbers of several eye doctors who had evening and Saturday hours in order to have her child eye’s examined.

The ASQ is doing so much more than teaching parents about their child’s development. It is connecting them to first steps, doctors and other community agencies.  By taking steps to help ensure that parents and caregivers have access to the tools they need, we are working to create a healthy, stable environment for a child.

If a parent needs help, Metro United Way guides them to the path that can provide what a family needs.  When a family is stable and their basic needs are met, a child can thrive, learn and succeed in school and in life!

- Kimberly Broecker

Kimberly is the Ages & Stages Coordinator for Metro United Way.  In 2009, she found help with ASQ after struggling to find help for her son’s developmental delay. She then joined Metro United Way with a passion for helping parents identify developmental delays and connecting them to any needed services. 

She attended the University of Western Kentucky where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communications. Kimberly currently lives in Louisville with her husband and 2 children. 

You can reach her at Kimberly.Broecker@MetroUnitedWay.org

1 comment

  1. Wonderful insight, Kimberly!

    Thanks so much for providing some real life examples of how the ASQ is making a difference for people every day. It's so easy to overlook the specific cases of how we're able to change lives with some simple tools. I love hearing you voice on this!


We would appreciate hearing YOUR voice:

Comments are lightly moderated for spam, inflammatory language, and off-topic or otherwise inappropriate posts.