Daycare operator Charlotte Manteaw got advice that solved a problem plaguing one of the seven children she cared for.

Malcolm would not follow directions, had trouble speaking and would rarely play with the other children. At first, Manteaw suspected Malcolm, then 2, had a short attention span, but a fellow network member speculated that he might have a hearing problem. The boy’s hearing was found to be normal, but he was diagnosed as having a speech disorder. A local agency went to his house to conduct therapy. “He speaks wonderfully now,” says Manteaw.

Roberta Buchanan, executive director of the Howard Area Community Center, got money to help expand space and services.

The center used the $25,000 it received to help purchase an additional facility. Set to open in November, it will accommodate an additional 48 children in Head Start, state pre-kindergarten and daycare for kids aged 0 to 3.

Debbie Senoff-Langford, principal of Rogers Park Montessori School, got some free help.

One network presenter was a Loyola University nursing professor, who mentioned that nursing students must do unpaid fieldwork. Senoff-Langford called the professor after her presentation and has since hosted several nursing students at her school.

Barbara Becker of the Hull House Even Start/Uptown Head Start learned about a video teaching tool for parents, among other things.

A presentation of the “Virtual Pre-K,” developed by the Chicago Public Schools, sparked Becker’s interest, and she has since checked the videos out of the library several times. Becker says the network’s resource directory is one of its biggest accomplishments. The directory lists and maps area businesses, government agencies, daycare providers, ethnic and community groups and health facilities center that cater to preschool-aged children. It has drawn a wide range of users, from parents to local librarians, she says.

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