Thanks to the help of more than 60 neighborhood volunteers, United Way of Washington County installed the county’s first Born Learning Trail in Villa Park, West Bend.

A ribbon-cutting celebration was held on June 21, with refreshments and fun provided by McDonald’s Kilian Management, Klotz’s Piggly Wiggly, and the 4-H Clowning Project. See photos here.

The new trail leads families along a path marked with simple games and activities specifically designed to help children develop social, emotional, and language skills needed for school readiness.

“What happens during a child’s early years matters,” said Ted Neitzke, West Bend Superintendent. “If we want to make an impact on reading proficiency, middle school success, and high school graduation rates, then the place to start is with school readiness.”

The inaugural Born Learning Trail is sponsored by Richards Insurance Agency in partnership with West Bend Mutual Insurance Company, and the City of West Bend Parks, Recreation & Forestry.

“We’re sponsoring United Way’s Born Learning Trail because we want to help parents and children succeed,” said Bob Gannon, Managing Partner at Richards Insurance Agency. “We have a responsibility to invest in children, because they are our future. When we invest in our children, we improve the community as a whole.”

“This project will be a great asset to the families in this local neighborhood,” said Diana Swillinger, Community Engagement Manager of United Way of Washington County. “The trail is a great free activity that anyone can use at any time. By simply following the instructions on each trail marker, parents can teach their children in a fun, interactive way.

“We are incredibly grateful to Richards Insurance’s lead gift to jump start our School Readiness initiative,” said Kristin Brandner, Executive Director of United Way of Washington County. “It demonstrates their commitment to helping people in our community, and it sets a positive example that other businesses can follow.”

Installation of the trail marked the beginning of United Way’s year-long focus on education and school readiness.

Visit the Born Learning Trail!
Villa Park - Squire Lane, West Bend

Sponsored By


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