Local kids’ mental health took a serious hit in 2020. Your time to help is running out.

JACKSON, Wyo. — Isolation. Missed classroom days. Disrupted access to nutritional food. Parents facing job loss. A world rocked by a deadly virus. Is it any surprise that the past year has had a grave impact on the social-emotional wellbeing of young children?

In Jackson Hole, three nonprofits have come together in an innovative collaborative effort to help. This trifecta — Teton Literacy Center, The Children’s Learning Center, and the Jackson Hole Children’s Museum — are teaming up to help the community’s youngest members not only catch up on the academics they may have missed but also to bolster kids’ social-emotional development and resilience.

Champions for Children supports the intertwining programming of these organizations. Not only does this collaboration mean that children and families get a robust complement of services and support, but it means that each dollar donated enjoys a triple impact.

“As our fundraising for Champions for Children enters its final week, our goal is within reach, but we’re not there yet,” said Laura Soltau, executive director of the Teton Literacy Center. “Though the pandemic seems to be drawing to an end, we see it every day: the toll that it took on kids is significant. Our work mitigating the losses and damage is far from over.”

Ethan Lobdell, executive director of the Jackson Hole Children’s Museum agrees. “We want the community to recognize the incredible opportunity they have to help kids in a profoundly impactful way. Each donor has the power to make a massive impact on how local children are able to recover from the pandemic from an academic and emotional perspective. Literally, to be a champion for these young people when they need you most.”

With only a week left in the 2021 Champions for Children campaign, the organizations’ leaders hope the community will recognize the critical nature of the programming and services that they provide. “During the pandemic, it became even more clear: high-quality childcare is an essential piece of a community’s ability to thrive,” said Patti Boyd, executive director of The Children’s Learning Center. “Providing safe, engaging environments for children stabilizes families, allows parents to be reliable members of the workforce, and in turn, creates a robust local economy. The ripple effects of our services are virtually endless.”

Thanks to the generosity of two donors — the Bank of Jackson Hole and the Wilson Family Foundation — Champions for Children is seeking to match their gifts in the combined amount of $60,000.

“A community match of these contributions would make an enormous impact,” said Soltau. “And with a week left for giving, I’m confident that our community will recognize the importance of this effort, and step up to help us reach our goal.”

Visit championsforchildrenjh.com to learn more and make your contribution to this vital effort today.

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Sponsored by Children's Learning Center

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