United Way Earns Grant to Improve Early Childhood Brain Development

A young mother works with her child. Photo provided.A young mother works with her child. Photo provided.

By: Allison Gregory–

United Way of Delaware County, in Partnership with BY5, Awarded Vroom Grant to Encourage Families to Emphasize Early Childhood Brain Development

MUNCIE, IN – United Way of Delaware County, a BY5 Ambassador, was selected as one of 23 communities in the nation to receive the Vroom Grant earlier this year.

Vroom, with strong support from the Bezos Family Foundation, provides a smartphone app, posters, learning tip cards and many other materials to aid families in recognizing when their behavior is stimulating their child’s brain in a positive way. Through these efforts, Vroom strives to inform parents that they have the skills to benefit their child’s development.

The Vroom Grant is made possible to United Way of Delaware County as a result of its Pacesetter status from the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Pacesetter status was earned for making significant progress in eliminating reading barriers faced by children in low-income families in Delaware County.

Locally, the grant will benefit children by funding opportunities and events that encourage parents to be actively involved in their child’s early brain development. Additionally, because United Way of Delaware County is recognized as a Pacesetter community, the organization is eligible to apply for up to $10,000 worth of materials from the Vroom Store to use throughout the community. In doing so, United Way will join a cohort of fellow communities awarded funding and be guided by a Bezos Family Foundation representative, both of which will aid in determining how to best use the materials within their communities.

BY5, the leading organization for early childhood awareness in Muncie and Delaware County, will act as a lead for this project. Through partnership with United Way of Delaware County, both organizations are able to achieve their missions to improve the lives and development of children in Muncie.

For more information BY5’s plans for the Vroom Grant in the upcoming year, visit www.muncieby5.org.


About United Way of Delaware County

United Way of Delaware County, Indiana engages the community to improve lives by focusing resources on education, income and health. It also works to create lasting change in community conditions. As the sponsoring organization for the community’s Campaign for Grade Level Reading, United Way is working to help children read at or above grade level by the end of their third grade year. It is during this pivotal point that children transition from learning how to read, into readers who learn from what they have read. United Way is partnering with schools to help at-risk readers meet this important benchmark. We have convened a coalition to identify gaps in services that are preventing children’s success with reading. Together, the coalition is finding ways to bridge those gaps and keep our community’s children on target for success in school and in life. Learn more at invitedtoliveunited.org.

About BY5

BY5 is the leading organization in Muncie and Delaware County for promoting early childhood awareness. The organization strives to improve the opportunities available to children up to age 5. As a result of task force and volunteer opportunities, BY5 has been able to implement several strategies to aid children in reaching their developmental potential. To learn more, visit http://www.muncieby5.org.

About Vroom

Vroom strives to recognize the key moments in children’s lives when their brains are expanding and developing. By showing parents they have the ability to impact their child’s development, the organization encourages families to nurture each child’s mind during crucial childhood years. To read more about Vroom’s initiatives, visit http://www.joinvroom.org.


Allison Gregory is with Intersection