Born Learning Initiative

A system-wide effort of United Way Worldwide, the Born Learning Initiative, has helped more than 15 million parents understand how to use everyday moments as learning moments.   Born Learning helps parents, caregivers and communities create early learning opportunities for young children.

Designed to support parents in their critical role as a child’s first teacher, the Born Learning Initiative is comprised of Born Learning Academies and Born Learning Trails.

Founded on an evidence-based curriculum established by early childhood faculty at Northern Kentucky University, the Born Learning Academy workshops are led by trained professionals—usually teachers, counselors, or other school staff.  The curriculum focuses on the following topics:

  • Building Relationships
  • Building Your Child’s Language Skills
  • Nutrition and Health
  • How Children Learn
  • Routines and Learning on the Go

Born Learning Academies

The United Way Born Learning Academy uses proven tools and resources to help families take a more active role in preparing their children for kindergarten. These free workshops are for parents and caregivers of children, from birth to age five.  Born Learning Academies are made possible by funding from the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation.

First Born Learning Academy graduates at La Puerta, Waco.

Born Learning Trails 

Born Learning Trails complement the overall initiative by providing an outdoor educational experience for families.  Each trail consists of 10 interactive signs that offer fun and engaging learning activities for children.  Local trails will be laid by Fall 2018 and will be located within neighborhood parks and adjacent to community centers to ensure they are widely available to local residents. The Born Learning Trails are made possible with funding from the City of Waco and Junior League Waco and will be joining the first trail that was installed at Cotton Palace Park and sponsored by Baylor University, dedicated to Dr. Linda Livingstone.

In 2018, over 100 volunteers installed Born Learning Trails on HOW Day in the following Waco-area parks:

  • Wilbert Austin Sr. Park
  • Kendrick Park
  • Dewey Park
  • S. Waco Park
  • Oscar DuConge Park
  • N. Waco Park
  • Bell’s Hill Park
  • Alta Vista Park


low-income children access to
Early Childhood Education
classes and quality afterschool and summer programs
low/uninsured families with access to
Medical Screenings and Health Exams
as well as prescription assistance and other therapy needs
children, adults, and families with
Meals and Bags of Groceries
over 46,000 eligible children, adults and families
low-income pregnant girls and women
Pregnancy Related Care Needs
including prenatal care, resource assistance, and parenting classes
families and individuals with
Family and Domestic Violence Care
including access to shelters, resource counseling, and case management