Sharon Kozek, owner and founder of Lincoln Park Preschool and Kindergarten, along with members of her team, have enthusiastically joined with Spark Ventures to help launch a new preschool in Zambia. Early childhood education is always critical to a student's' future success in the world, but this program will have a particularly powerful impact in sub-Saharan Africa where more than 80% of children have no access to pre-primary school programs.
In order to launch this initiative, Sharon and three members of the LPP leadership team traveled last month with Spark Ventures to Zambia on Spark’s Impact Travel initiative to meet with the leadership of Spark’s Zambia partner, Hope Community School. The team brought resources and worked with local educators at the school to develop a culturally sensitive curriculum, activities and lesson plan.
Lincoln Park has committed to being a long-term partner with Spark Ventures on this initiative, by sending teachers, supplies and funds to help empower and create effectiveness and sustainability for the program.
For the past 10 years, Hope Community School has annually provided 350 students, from grades 1 to 7, with high-quality education. Additionally, they have had a 98-100% graduation rate for the past 6 years. This new partnership with Lincoln Park Preschool allows Hope to launch a preschool for 5 year-olds, which will expand to younger children in the years to come.
Sharon Kozek returned from the launch trip with this to say, “We strive to be leaders in our community here in Chicago as well as our global community. We believe deeply that every child deserves the opportunity to achieve their potential and I am so invigorated by the incredible work we are doing together with Spark Ventures in Zambia.”