SOURCE: BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank

October 23, 2013 16:00 ET

BMO Harris Bank Invests $70,000 in United Way's Born Learning Initiative

Major Component of $200,000 Donation to United Way of Dane County Will Increase Access to Early Childhood Education Strategies for Low-Income Families in Dane County

MADISON, WI--(Marketwired - Oct 23, 2013) - BMO Harris Bank today announced a $70,000 investment in United Way's Born Learning Initiative, a program that seeks to ensure all children in Dane County enter kindergarten prepared to succeed. These funds represent a major component of a wider $200,000 donation from BMO Harris Bank to United Way of Dane County.

"BMO Harris Bank's donation will provide young children with resources and support that will help them excel in school, graduate and develop the foundational skills and knowledge for a successful future," said Doug Nelson, Regional President, BMO Harris Bank and 2013 United Way Campaign Chair. "The first five years of a child's life can shape his or her entire future. Recent studies have shown a range of returns between $4 and $9 for every dollar invested in early learning programs for children. These children will earn higher wages, have little to no criminal behavior and incur lower health care costs over their lifetime. If we can change a child's first five years, we go a long way towards evening the odds for individuals and entire communities."

BMO Harris Bank's donation will employ a comprehensive strategy to support early childhood education, connecting thousands of families with resources in their local neighborhood. Community resources include Play and Learn sites (where parents and caregivers learn how to be their child's first teacher), assessments to ensure a child's developmental progress, home visitation and continuing education and professional development for childcare professionals. In addition, this donation will also fund new early education strategies that United Way of Dane County's Born Learning Delegation -- a group of community leaders investigating ways to improve kindergarten readiness through parent education and support -- will release to the community in February of 2014.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Co-Chair of the Born Learning Delegation, is excited about United Way's partnership with BMO Harris Bank. "Together we can help build an educated and strong community so children and families can thrive in our community and achieve their dreams, whatever they may be."

"On behalf of our community, we say thank you to BMO Harris for stepping forward to invest in this new work. Ensuring all children in our community are set up for success the day they enter kindergarten is one of our core goals in our community's Agenda for Change," said Leslie Ann Howard, President & CEO of United Way of Dane County. "The type of leadership, which BMO Harris is taking in this work, is heartwarming. It is inspiring to come together with them around such an important issue as Education and steward our youngest citizens on a life-long path to success in school and far beyond."

FACTS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

  • The early years matter. In the first few years of life, 700 new neural connections are formed every second. These connections build brain architecture -- the foundation upon which all later learning, behavior, and health depend.
  • Significant adversity impairs development in the first three years of life -- and the more adversity a child faces, the greater the odds of a developmental delay. Risk factors such as poverty, caregiver mental illness, child maltreatment, single parent, and low maternal education have a cumulative impact.
  • Evidence now links significant adversity in one's childhood to an increased range of adult health problems, including diabetes, hypertension, stroke, obesity, and some forms of cancer. Studies show adults who recall having seven or eight serious adverse experiences in their childhood are three times more likely to have cardiovascular disease as an adult.
  • Providing young children with a healthy environment to learn and grow is good for their development. Economists have also shown that high quality early childhood programs bring impressive returns on investment to the public.

About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Banking products and services are provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. and are subject to bank or credit approval. BMO Harris Bank® is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and $549 billion in assets (as of July 31, 2013).

About United Way of Dane County
United Way of Dane County is addressing the underlying causes of community issues through our community's Agenda for Change -- seven goals focused on three priority areas of Education, Safety and Health our community identified as most critical to changing lives and strengthening Dane County. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, we are achieving measurable results toward making our community better educated, safer, and healthier.

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