Leeanne Lipiczky has been selected as the 2019 Phoenix North First Things First Champion for Young Children.
The award is given to local champions who actively volunteer their time to raise public awareness of the importance of early childhood development and health. Champions spend a significant amount of time volunteering with FTF and building public awareness about the importance of early childhood issues.
Lipiczky has raised awareness for early education, dental care and literacy through hosting collection drives. In the fall 2018, she organized a school supply drive that collected more than 3,000 items to help students entering school. In October 2018, Lipiczky spearheaded a dental drive which brought more than 5,000 items donated. Each dental kit was packed with the donated supplies and First Things First information cards highlighting the importance of early oral health habits. Lipiczky values early literacy and ensures her support staff have constant access to community resources that include First Things First informational articles and books so families can be aware of early literacy resources that promote the healthy development of early literacy and language.
We recently caught up with Lipiczky, who is a program specialist with the Arizona Department of Child Safety.
Question: Why do you feel early childhood development and health is important?
Answer: When designing or building any project, a strong foundation is imperative to ensure the structure stands. Children are our future; investing in their early childhood health and development ensures that they have a solid foundation which supports their ability to achieve success. Ensuring they meet developmental milestones and stay healthy through their younger years helps to keep them on track and prepared for entering school with eager minds and confidence.
Question: How do you suggest other people in your community get involved?
Answer: Anyone, at any age can show kindness in their community. Reading to children at local preschools, child care centers, schools or resource centers will bring stories to life and help children develop a sense of community. Donating items such as books, dental care supplies, school supplies or infant care items offers critical support to families struggling to provide for their children. Cleaning a local park ensures children have a clean and safe place to explore and play. Donating to local resource agencies will alleviate financial pressures and allow staff to stay focused on providing programming that promotes early childhood health and development. Whether by monetary donations, collections of supplies or giving of labor or time; one can easily find ways to invest in their community.