Education: One of the Pillars Helping Children and Families Thrive
The Five Pillars of Stability is a framework used by Wellpoint Care Network to describe what it takes for individuals and communities to reach their fullest potential and truly thrive.
The following five pillars — Employment, Education, Housing, Health and Caring Connections — have been shown to support individual and family stability and prevent or reduce the need for deep-end interventions. When we are strong in these areas, we are able to work on restoring connections to our families, friends and the broader community.
The Education pillar is the motivation behind many of the events Wellpoint Care has hosted over the last year. From inviting elementary students in for a reading and literacy event to distributing over 1,000 backpacks during our Back to School Bash and several others in between.
“We are creating intentional spaces where young people feel safe and feel heard,” said Alex Williams, Director of Community Engagement at Wellpoint Care Network. “We want to cultivate a love of literacy and learning.”
One of the schools Wellpoint Care has worked closely with is Congress Public School in Milwaukee.
“It was important for us to build that partnership because they are a community school,” said Williams. “Most of the kids walk to school or their parents are within driving distance. For us to be a community resource for them is very impactful.”
Earlier this year, owner of Café Corazon Wendy Mireles reached out to Wellpoint Care looking to partner together.
“Corazon means heart in Spanish,” said Mireles. “Before I was a restaurant owner, I was actually a teacher. I’ve carried education into the heart of our restaurant culture. When Wellpoint Care hosted the Back to School Bash, our employees had so much fun filling backpacks with school supplies. We were there in attendance and met lots of families. After that, we knew we wanted to extend our Café Corazon family into the community.”
At that time, the restaurant was just launching their ‘Tu y Yo Program,’ which was created on the belief that “You and I can make a better community together.” Throughout the month of August, $1 from every taco plate sold on Tuesdays was donated to Wellpoint Care Network. In total, $1,000 was raised.
“Wendy and Café Corazon wanted to make sure that their donation was directly impacting students and teachers for educational purposes,” said Williams. “Because we have been working with Congress School, it was easy to pinpoint who those funds should go to.”
So, on Tuesday, January 23, $1,000 was donated to Congress School from Café Corazon on behalf of Wellpoint Care Network.
“$500 is going to the school for immediate needs,” said Williams. “Whatever they feel that money will be the most useful for, that’s what they’re going to put it toward. The other portion of the money is going to be used for different programs or resources that are put on by Wellpoint Care Network. Part of that money could be used to buy books for our next R.E.A.D. to Me event, it could be used to get math resources to the students, it could be used for a spirit week. We wanted to make sure that we were donating money to the school, but also that we stayed tied to the school. So, it’s not just an empty check, it’s not just the promise of programs, but it’s the best of both.”
One of our goals at Wellpoint Care Network is to cultivate a love of learning and strengthen that Education pillar within families and communities. We believe that starts at a young age, like the students attending Congress School.
“On behalf of Congress and Milwaukee Public Schools, we thank you Wellpoint Care Network and Café Corazon for your generous donation supporting literacy initiatives here at Congress School,” said Dr. Shalonda Driver, Principal at Congress School. “Our school has been fortunate to benefit from an amazing partnership with Wellpoint Care, who has so willingly integrated themselves into the Congress culture through a number of initiatives and supports. Your investment in education is shaping a brighter future for our students. We truly appreciate your commitment to making a positive impact on our students and our community.”
For information on how you can partner with Wellpoint Care Network, email our Community Engagement team at [email protected].