Articles :: – City of Virginia Beach | So Good News


The Virginia Beach GrowSmart Foundation has been selected as the winner of a $25,000 small grant by United Way Women United of South Hampton Roads. Women United announced the grant winners on October 27 at a fall luncheon attended by more than 750 people. The GrowSmart Foundation was one of two micro-grant winners.

“Women United invests in community solutions that deliver measurable results, especially for the women and children in our community,” said Michelle Anderson, president and CEO of United Way of South Hampton Roads. “This special grant is designed to support innovative programs that use brain science, and LENA Start is truly a perfect fit. We are inspired by the results achieved by the program and are excited to partner with the GrowSmart Foundation to impact even more children and families.”

This funding will be used to expand the work of GrowSmart’s Virginia Beach Talks initiative through LENA START coaching for families with children ages 0-3. The goal is to strengthen and support parents and adult educators in improving the language environment of young children at home. It is important to support parents in their important role in supporting young children’s healthy development and readiness for kindergarten. Thanks to the generous support of the Women’s Fellowship, this class is offered FREE to families.

“It’s critical that we invest in innovative early childhood solutions to promote and support children’s healthy development and enhance the critical role of our families and adult caregivers,” said Virginia Beach GrowSmart Coordinator Barb Lito. “What an honor to receive funding from Women United to support families, women and children with innovative, strength-based solutions. This is an investment in our future.”

For more information about GrowSmart and its Virginia Beach Talks program, visit

About Virginia Beach GrowSmart

GrowSmart is administered by the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development. GrowSmart works to encourage and improve the healthy development, school readiness and learning skills of children ages 0-8. In addition to providing resources for parents and families, GrowSmart also offers programming to ensure access to high-quality early education.

About the Women’s Association

The leadership behind Women United, the United Way of South Hampton Roads, is a local force of women passionate about investing in programs that change the lives of women and children in the community. Their 750 members are leaders and philanthropists dedicated to empowering and inspiring women to drive community-wide change that ends poverty in 757. For more information, visit




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