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By Carmen Ensinger
The Carrollton Community School District’s Families First Program is holding a diaper drive to assist the families who take part it its Birth to Three program. The drive is being held through Nov. 27 and diapers can be dropped off at several different locations around Carrollton.
“Our Birth to Three program is open to just about anybody, but we do have some higher need families in the program,” Early Childhood Program Coordinator Sarah Schmidt said. “But, regardless of how high their needs, the one thing we hear across the board from all of them is that there is always a shortage of diapers and that they are always running out.”
An average baby will go through around 50 diapers per week, yet diapers are the only child necessity not provided for by any subsidy or grant program.
“Over the years, we have learned that there is a huge need for the families in our program, especially the lower income families, for extra diapers,” Schmidt said. “Our grant program allows us to give our families one box of diapers per semester, but a lot of times that is not enough to help out the families that really need it.”
This is where the donations come in.
“So, as long as we are buying them with our grant dollars, we have to limit it to one package,” Schmidt said. “But if we have donations, then that gives us a little more freedom to give them out as needed to certain families.”
The grant Schmidt is referring to is the Prevention Initiative grant through the Illinois State Board of Education. This grant funds the Birth to Three program.
“In this program, our three Family Liasons go into the home of our families where they do developmental play with the child and assist the parents in being the child’s first teacher because that is the whole point of the program,” Schmidt said. “It is a national program called ‘Parents as Teachers’ and the idea behind it is the parent is a child’s first teacher and that starts from birth – they don’t wait until they can walk and talk and read – it is from the minute they are born. The parent is the first teacher and we want to promote that.”
Right now the program is at capacity with 51 family participating with a total of 64 children participating in the program. As for the sizes of diapers needed, Schmidt said there is a need for all sizes.
“We need everything from newborn diapers to pull-ups,” she said. “We have the newborn babies just coming home from the hospital that need them, but there is also that time period around two or three where parents are potty training where they are going from regular diapers to pull-ups in the day but still using diapers at night. So really it is any size from newborn up to pull-ups.”
Drop-off locations have been established at City Hall, Pharmacy Plus, CNB Bank and Carrollton Bank. Or, they can be dropped off at the schools or even sent to school with the students. Schmidt also said they would be glad to come and pick them up, just call the school and give them the address.
While the diaper drive ends on Nov. 27, that doesn’t mean that they won’t take donations after that date.
“We have never turned down any diapers that someone have given us,” Schmidt said. “As long as they are in an unopened package, we will always take them. We will always have a family in need of them.”