The Problem:

Statistics about the problems facing children in Memphis can seem insurmountable: high ACE (adverse childhood experiences) scores, abject generational poverty, crime, unemployment, 40% of children under age 5 living in poverty and low childhood literacy rates. These issues can be especially daunting under the long shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Approach:

Despite the multitude of challenges, Porter-Leath uses its over 170 years of experience to empower chidren and families to achieve a healthy, optimal and independent lifstyle. Porter-Leath staff members know that there is no quick and easy fix to the problems facing our city, but by employing best-practices, measuring our outcomes and refining our programs, we can make a difference in the lives of over 50,000 local children and families.

The Ways You Can Help:

Take some time to explore this page, watch a video or review program descriptions to learn more about ALL that Porter-Leath does for our community. Consider donating to our page, knowing that your gift can progide the financial resources necessary to support quality early childhood and social services all year long.

Learn what Porter-Leath is doing to support children and families in the Memphis area:

Here are just a few ways that Porter-Leath is serving our community - even during the COVID-19 era:

Books from Birth continues to mail monthly, age-appropriate books to over 45,000 local children. These books are not only being well-read they have provided parents with a consistent literacy tool to use, while they are spending extra time together at home. Young children's routines have been disrupted because of COVID-19, but tthese books remain a familiar connection with caregivers or siblings.

Connections continues providing individualized residential, and counseling services for the teens at Porter-Leath's 24/7/365 facility called Sarah's Place. The Connections staff are also working with the Department of Children's Services to ensure children have access to safe foster homes.

Cornerstone continues to host "home visitation" with familes. Parent educators meet parents and children online or via phone to demonstrate lessons and give parents a chance to ask questions. While their curriculum guides the conversation, parent educators are able to tailor the discussions to individual familes needs.

Preschool educators continue teaching virtual lessons (both online and phone) and providing educational resources for parents to use at home to over 6,200 children. Family services staff check in weekly with families and help them meet emergency needs like food, diapers, and other community resources.

The Teacher Excellence Program continues providing professional development for early childhood educators through virtual seminars. The TEP have also joined preschool educators in creating educational content like videos or skills practice for parent's use with children at home.

The Early Success Coalition continues to partner with 180 local and statewide agencies to connect early childhood resources and providers with parents. Check out the new parentplus901.com, which helps parents decide what tools and resources may be available for their family.

NEXT Memphis is increasing the number of local, high-quality child care centers by offering significant resources, training, and support to community child care providers. NEXT Memphis was introduced to the community in early 2020.