Thanks for rallying around the Bonus Challenge!
August 03, 2017
Did you know that sleep is just as important to growing minds and bodies as proper nutrition and exercise? Healthy sleep is vital to children's cognitive, physical, and social development, yet sadly, informational and economic barriers prevent thousands of disadvantaged children from getting the sleep they need. Without intervention, a good night's sleep remains a distant dream for some of our nation's most vulnerable children. This puts their health, happiness, and academic readiness at risk.
Luckily, with the support and generosity of foundations, corporations, and individuals like you, Sweet Dreamzzz is able to address this sleep crisis, and provide our Early Childhood Sleep Education Program (ECSEP) to the children and families who need it most.
The ECSEP works by empowering Head Start teachers, preschoolers, and parents to form a triangle of support around sleep health. Teachers receive professional development training and all the necessary sleep health curriculum materials to conduct the ECSEP in their classrooms. Preschoolers participate in two weeks of engaging, hands-on activities (like helping a teddy bear get ready for bed) to learn why and how to get a good night's sleep. Parents participate in an interactive workshop to gain tips and tools (bedtime routine charts, stickers, reminder magnets, etc.) to help foster bedtime routines at home. And participating families receive free bedtime basics (blankets, books, toothbrushes, teddy bears, etc.) to help break some of the financial barriers to healthy sleep.
With sleep education in their minds, practical nighttime materials in their homes, and the knowledgeable support of their teachers and parents, low-income children can get the sleep they need for good health and school success! EVERY child deserves a chance to reap the benefits of a good night's sleep!
Sweet Dreamzzz has reached over 5,000 families with our Early Childhood Sleep Education Program, and we're the ONLY organization in the country that empowers disadvantaged families with sleep education and bedtime essentials! But we can't do it without your help! Please consider making a donation of ANY size to help support our efforts! To help put donations in context...
$5 could provide a Head Start preschooler with a copy of the book "Goodnight Moon," which is introduced in the ECSEP classroom curriculum. Giving children their own book to take home allows families to bond, improve literacy, and relax without screens before bed. What a wonderful way for children to wind down and let their bodies and brains prepare for a good night's sleep!
$10 could provide a Head Start preschooler with a teaching teddy bear, like the ones you see in the photos. Through the interactive, age-appropriate activities of the ECSEP, children learn how to help their bears follow a healthy bedtime routine. At the end of the program, children get to take their bears home, where they serve as a source of nighttime security, and a reminder of all of the important sleep lessons they learned at school!
$35 could provide a Head Start preschooler with a full ECSEP sleep kit. This includes the book and bear described above, along with a fleece blanket for warmth and comfort, and a toothbrush and toothpaste to help make the healthy act of brushing teeth a regular part of the bedtime routine!
$200 could provide a Head Start teacher with an ECSEP curriculum manual and classroom presentation kit. With these re-usable items in hand, a teacher has all of the lesson plans, curriculum objectives, reproducibles, and classroom materials needed to make sleep health education a sustainable part of the preschool curriculum for many years to come. In the long run, hundreds of his/her students will learn to form healthy sleep habits that can last a lifetime!
With a sea of worthy causes to consider, Sweet Dreamzzz thanks you for taking the time to learn a little bit more about how your support can help children reach their fullest potential through healthy sleep. Together, we can change lives, one night at a time!