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Sister Preschool in Zambia Launched in Partnership with Lincoln Park Preschool

  |   chicago, community programs, education, partnership trip, report from the field, socent, social good, zambia

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 critical to any students’ 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.



To launch this initiative, Sharon and three members of the LPP leadership team (Jamie Tiller, Laura Garland, Alyson Marguerat) 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 lessons.


Take a glimpse of one of the first days of the preschool in this video:



Lincoln Park has committed to being a long-term partner with Spark Ventures on this initiative for the coming years, sending teachers, supplies and funds to help empower and create effectiveness and sustainability for the program.


For the past 10 years, Spark Ventures’ Zambian partner, Hope Community School has annually provided 350 students from Grade 1 to 7 with high-quality education. 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. Spark Ventures’ CEO Rich Johnson said of the project: “The children served here come from homes where they are likely to have lost one or both parents, from families that survive on less than $2 per day. This preschool has the potential to put an incredible number of young Zambian students on a path for success that might otherwise be unattainable.”


Sharon Kozek, Founder and Owner of Lincoln Park Preschool 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.”



Want to see the preschool in person? Join us in Zambia in July!