Press Release

header line

Ready? Set. Read! Colorado Springs children to receive a special delivery of new board books in red wagons

Monday, Oct. 3, 2011
10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Early Connections Learning Centers, formerly Child Nursery Centers
104 E. Rio Grande
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903
Dining Room

The achievement gap begins early. Research shows that for low-income children, early education that promotes school readiness can be the key to success in school and in adulthood. School success not only has life-long benefits for individuals, but positively impacts a community’s quality of life and economic well-being.

To help children enter school prepared to be successful throughout the years that follow, spouses of leadership from Zurich – one of the world’s largest property-casualty insurance companies – will visit Early Connections Learning Centers to make a special delivery of new, donated board books to the children at the Center and help further the United Way initiative called “Success By 6,” which addresses the importance of a child's first six years of life.

Zurich executive spouses are helping Pikes Peak United Way, a local organization affiliated with United Way Worldwide, reach its monthly contribution of giving more than 1200 books to early learning centers, hospitals (including three military hospitals), doctor offices, preschools and library centers based on need in the Pikes Peak region.

*Children attending Early Connections Learning Centers
*Jacqueline Walsh, Vice President of Development for Early Connections Learning Centers
*Karen Kerner, spouse to Mike Kerner, CEO of Zurich Global Corporate in North America
*Mark Wall, Business Development Leader for Zurich
*Barbara Furr-Brodock, Director of Corporate Campaigns for Pikes Peak United Way

Jennifer Nowacki, Zurich
Cell: 847-275-4428

Background information
United Way is one of 12 core charities Zurich supports through its annual employee giving campaign in the U.S. and through community grants. Since 2002, Zurich has given $850,000 to United Way.

Zurich executives and their spouses are visiting Colorado Springs to attend the Council of Insurance Agent & Broker Insurance Leadership Forum held each year at The Broadmoor.

Since 2009, Zurich has chosen to give back to charitable causes in the Pikes Peak region in lieu of giving gifts or having favors at the lunches and dinners Zurich hosts during the Insurance Leadership Forum.

In addition to Zurich executive spouses collecting books, employees working in Zurich offices in Denver and Colorado Springs, as well as employees from Lockton, a privately owned, independent insurance broker, also collected books to support Zurich’s efforts.

About Zurich
Zurich Financial Services Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurance provider with a global network of subsidiaries and offices in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East as well as other markets. For more information about Zurich’s business in North America, go to

About Pikes Peak United Way
Founded in 1922, Pikes Peak United Way advances the common good by not only providing a safety net for basic needs, we work to prevent tomorrow's problems by addressing issues today. Our focus is on education, family stability and safety net services - the building blocks for a good quality of life. Pikes Peak United Way recruits the people and organizations throughout the community who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to affect positive and long-lasting change.

About Early Connections Learning Center
Early Connections Learning Centers is the oldest nonprofit child care organization in Colorado and is recognized statewide as a leader in the field of early childhood education. In 1897, fourteen visionary women founded the Colorado Springs Day Nursery Association, recognizing the need for child care for working women.

Reporters - Need More Info?
Contact Media Relations Staff »