Kohl’s Department Stores (NYSE: KSS) today announced the continuation of its partnership with Penfield Children’s Center, donating more than $4 million over five years to support and expand Kohl’s Building Blocks Program. The additional funding will allow Penfield to add bilingual care services, develop a new community outreach program and create a digital education platform, to increase reach throughout the metro-Milwaukee community and beyond. Currently, the program provides support to infants, young children and their families by providing access to specialized educational and developmental programs, services and equipment through Penfield. The donation comes from Kohl’s philanthropic program, Kohl’s Cares®, which sells special merchandise, including plush toys and books, and donates 100 percent of the net profit to benefit children’s health and education initiatives nationwide. “We deeply admire Penfield’s mission to serve Milwaukee’s children and families in need. Kohl’s is proud to be in a position to support such a valuable service that positively impacts our community,” said Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We are honored to continue our long-standing relationship with Penfield, and are pleased to facilitate the growth of Kohl’s Building Blocks Program, which in turn will help even more local families.” Penfield Children’s Center works with more than 1,500 Milwaukee-area children each year providing early intervention therapy services, Milwaukee’s largest special care nursery, a one-of-a-kind behavior clinic and family, parent and early childhood education programs. Approximately 90 percent of all families enrolled at Penfield are living below the poverty line. “Kohl’s tremendous gift of more than $4 million is a giant step in our long-standing partnership and collective commitment to the Milwaukee community,” said Christine Holmes, Penfield Children’s Center president and chief executive officer. “Through our partnership, local children and their families will have greater access to health resources as we work to extend services in communities where we have identified a need. We are honored to be partnering with Kohl’s to further develop these vital programs.”
Over the next five years, Kohl’s Building Blocks Program will continue the integrated model of specialized professional support combined with quality resources and early learning materials that specifically support the complex needs of young children who have significant behavioral disorders, have been victims of abuse or neglect or have a significant disability limiting development, including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, birth abnormalities or traumatic injuries.The Kohl’s Building Blocks Program consists of three main components:
- Child Development Services provided by qualified Child Development Specialists who have specialized expertise working with children with complex needs.
- The Kohl’s Child Development Library where children and families can “check out” materials and resources to enhance health and development, including specialized therapy equipment and toys designed to stimulate development at home, between regular therapy sessions.
- The Kohl’s Development Toolbox full of learning tools and resources that children and families can keep to take home to stimulate and encourage continuous development.
- The addition of a Bilingual Child Development Specialist position to focus on the needs of the Hispanic/Latino community to promote culturally sensitive, high-level services to those families that only communicate in Spanish.
- The expansion of the Building Blocks Community Outreach and Online Platform which will increase involvement of educators, parents, community leaders and children in the lives of those with special needs in an effort to serve more children and create greater impact by bringing effective development programs and health services to more communities regionally and, potentially, nationally through their publications and online resources.