1st University Credit Union strengthens community bonds through partnership with Waco ISD Early Childhood Education Program

WACO, TEXAS (January 31, 2024) — 1st University Credit Union is pleased to announce its collaboration with Waco ISD Early Childhood Education through a community partnership. This partnership involves supporting the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program, a free parent education and family support initiative by Waco ISD.

The PAT program focuses on families with children from prenatal to school entry, offering a unique approach to early learning. Shelley Carlson, the executive vice president of marketing at 1st University CU, expressed the credit union’s commitment to community wellness. “PAT’s strategy, where education professionals collaborate with parents to ensure the optimal learning and growth of the youngest children, is what drew us to this partnership.”

Gwendolyn James, the director of Waco ISD Early Childhood, emphasized the program’s role in helping parents understand child development. “The PAT program not only assesses each child’s development but also supports parents in fulfilling their crucial role as the primary educators of their children. Additionally, the program connects families with essential resources to make informed choices for their well-being.”

Anita Henderson, lead parent educator, described the home visits as very rewarding, adding, “We are able to address challenges faced by parents, consider family dynamics and parenting values, and work to build strong protective factors for local families, fostering health, strength, and resilience.”

As part of its community partnership, 1st University Credit Union plans to collect books and other donated supplies, conduct financial wellness workshops, establish a savings program for participants, and provide volunteers for PAT’s special events.

Kevin Hood, president and CEO of 1st University Credit Union, highlighted the credit union’s alignment with a program designed to help children reach their full potential, bringing the initiative full circle for a credit union originally chartered to serve a university community.

About 1st University Credit Union

1st University Credit Union has been helping people achieve their financial goals since 1956, originally serving employees, students, and alumni of Baylor University and their families. Today, it is a full-service credit union serving the Baylor and Waco communities by providing financial services and products to meet modern demands. Find out more at

About Waco ISD Parents as Teachers

Waco ISD Parents as Teachers supports parents and guardians in the understanding of child development and connects families to resources needed to make the best choices for their family.  PAT offers personal visits customized for the needs of each family. Find out more on their website.


Shelley Carlson
1st University
(254) 752-2797 x309

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