Layla Chami lost her battle with leukemia at the age of sixteen. Her parents, Maria and Dr. Tawfik Chami, worked with the Florida Medical Clinic Foundation of Caring, the YMCA, Champions For Children and the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County to transform a vacant lot in one of Tampa’s poorest communities into a lasting legacy of hope, inspiration and boundless love.
Layla’s House opened in early 2012 and continues to provide families of children from birth to five years old with a place to learn together, grow together and become stronger together. From child development workshops to parent-child literacy courses, Layla’s House provides children with the foundation they need to be successful in kindergarten and in life.
While other programs in Sulphur Springs are geared toward middle- and high-school students, Layla’s House and its playground focuses on children ages five and younger, said Michael Brown, YMCA’s senior group vice president.
Layla’s House is not a day care center, but it does provide programs in early childhood development; parenting skills, including newborn and breast-feeding classes; baby boot camps for fathers; baby massage; play groups; music; reading, and literacy classes.
“Parents are the first teachers,” Brown said. “There is not a parent here who doesn’t want the best for their children. We are stabilizing the community at the same time. This is just a part of a long pipeline.”
The Foundation of Caring donated $100,000 and countless man hours to help make Layla’s House a reality. Your continued donations to FMC Foundation of Caring will help us continue this great work.
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