Northampton, MA — Ms. Susan Clopton and Mr. Thomas Conner of Florence Savings Bank met Friday with Strong Foundations for Young Children representatives Desiree Lalbeharie-Josias, Director of Early Childhood at the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) in Northampton; and the Executive Director of CES, Bill Diehl.
Ms. Susan Clopton and her husband, John Levine, donated $10,000 in a matching grant for the Strong Foundations for Young Children (SFYC) program which provides free support for families of infants, toddlers and preschoolers who reside in Easthampton and Ware. Clopton noted that she and her husband are passionate about the work of SFYC, and are committed to early childhood programming because of the strong foundation it provides to the child, family and to the community. Clopton noted that “for every dollar spent on programs like SFYC, approximately $17 in tax dollars are saved.” Both Clopton and Levine run businesses in the valley, and enjoy assisting an organization that ensures a “happier, healthier and more well-adjusted community. We feel strongly that we do best as individuals, communities and businesses when we pay it forward.”
Mr. Tom Conner, Branch Manager of the Easthampton branch of the Florence Bank, presented a check for $2,500 to support Strong Foundations for Young Children. “This work supporting families within the community resonated with us.” said Conner. As a local bank, Florence Bank has consistently been a leader in giving to community programs. In addition to annual donations given directly by the bank, Florence Bank customers vote for their favorite non-profit organization to receive funding through their Customer’s Choice Community Grants Program.
Said Bill Diehl, “We are so grateful for the generosity of those committed to doing good for their communities, and appreciative of the unwavering dedication of community leaders like Susan and our friends at Florence Bank in supporting SFYC. Without this type of assistance, the help that we provide to young children and families in Easthampton and Ware would not be possible.”
The goal of Strong Foundations for Young Children (SFYC, formerly Success By Six Easthampton) is to provide support to parents to enhance their children’s social and emotional development. In addition to individual services the program has a strong networking component to bring together other providers of services to this group of families through the Easthampton Early Childhood Council (e2c2) and the Quaboag Community Council. The program is a cooperative effort between the Collaborative for Educational Services which provides Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists and Berkshire Children and Families which provides Parent Aides. SFYC is managed by the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton. Learn more about the program at www.collaborative.org/giving/strong-foundations-young-children.