CVS Caremark invests in Easter Seals' Make the First Five Count initiative

CHICAGO — CVS Caremark, through its All Kids Can program, has partnered with Easter Seals over the past six years to support children at risk of autism, developmental delays or disabilities. CVS Caremark is continuing its support by investing in Easter Seals' Make the First Five Count initiative to help assure children receive critical early intervention services.

Every year, millions of young children with disabilities or those at risk of developmental delays enter school already far behind other children. Many never catch up. By identifying and treating a delay early on, kids with autism and other disabilities have the best chance of succeeding in life and developing on par with their peers. Early intervention services can help strengthen children's physical, social, emotional and intellectual abilities well before kindergarten.

CVS Caremark's investment in Make the First Five Count aims to help assure successful outcomes for young children served by Easter Seals nationwide.

Since Easter Seals' Living with Autism Study was released in late 2008, CVS Caremark has provided nearly $650,000 in grants from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust to train and certify Easter Seals therapists in applied behavior analysis, enhancing further Easter Seals' capacity to respond to the need for evidence-based interventions for young children with autism.

Through this funding, nearly 100 Easter Seals therapists at 20 Easter Seals affiliates nationwide have been trained and certified. To date, more than 500 young children with autism have benefited from ABA therapies.

This year marks CVS Caremark's sixth year as the national premier sponsor of Easter Seals' signature fundraising event, Walk With Me. This year, CVS Caremark associates expect to raise more than $1 million through local community engagement and fundraising at nearly 70 walk events nationwide. Over the past five years, CVS Caremark and its more than 200,000 associates across the country have raised more than $7 million for Walk With Me.

"We are very proud of the thousands of CVS Caremark colleagues who are supporting Easter Seals to ensure their services are available to children and families in every community," CVS Caremark SVP corporate communications and community relations Eileen Howard Boone said. "Together, for the past six years, we have been dedicated to helping children of all abilities reach their highest potential."

CVS Caremark selected Easter Seals as a national partner in All Kids Can when the program was introduced in 2006. Since that time, the company, its foundation and its associates have contributed more than $11.5 million to support Easter Seals services in local communities nationwide.

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