Collaborative for Children 35th Gala - A Night Celebrating Excellence
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For 35 years Collaborative for Children has been at the forefront of ensuring that all children are prepared for life, starting in their most formative years ages 0 through five when 90% of a child’s brain architecture is developed. Our focus is providing this active young mind with a combination of “next-generation skills” and inquiry-based programming in our Centers of Excellence and on board the Collab-Lab.

Too many Houston-area children are not prepared to start kindergarten. In fact, 38% of Houston-area children under the age of five are living in poverty, affording them no chance of being ready to enter kindergarten. And 60% of children enter kindergarten ill-prepared to succeed.

A positive early learning experience in the first five years of life is the key to better jobs, better health outcomes, better incomes, better education, better socialization skills, and a better, brighter future.

Chairs Patricia and Larry Campagna

“All kids deserve the very best start in life.”

Collaborative for Children is leading the way, providing next-generation skills and resources that help ensure all kids have a future bright with hope, possibility, success, and fulfillment.

Honorees Ginni and Richard Mithoff

The Mithoffs are longtime supporters of Collaborative for Children, with Ginni serving a two-year term as Board Chair. The Mithoffs feel that all of Houston’s preschool children need to begin kindergarten with the necessary tools for success in school.

The evening highlighted Collaborative’s Centers of Excellence, which utilizes a core curriculum with an innovative, hands-on approach that focuses on 21st-century learning skills such as critical thinking, technology, and problem-solving.

For 35 years, Collaborative for Children has worked to improve and strengthen the quality of early childhood education, especially in underserved Houston neighborhoods. Studies have shown that strengthening this system has a direct impact on the future school success of children. As we celebrate the work we have accomplished, we also understand there is still much more work to do. In Houston, 47% of children enter school lacking the basic skills to begin kindergarten. If these students fail, it directly affects each of us as there is no future workforce, jeopardizing the economic health of our city.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for a Night Celebrating Excellence!

Our dynamic advocates, along with the support of all our event participants, have helped to make this event a huge success and we are beyond grateful for your continued support.  Speaking of support, you can still donate!  We need your help to fund current and future needs so please take a moment to click the link below, browse and donate.

The night began with registration and a cocktail party with a 3 piece jazz band!

Our 2022 Gala Chairs Patricia and Larry Campagna welcome the crowd!

President and CEO Dr. Melanie Johnson and Chairperson Dr. Allison Falender with the presentations of the night.

Dr. Melanie Johnson was presented with a decree from Mayor Turner’s office by Council Member Karla Cisneros, City of Houston, District H.

Remarks by our Honorees Ginni and Richard Mithoff.

Outspoken Bean, Houston’s 2021-2023 Poet Laureate was in the house!



The Doopelganger Band moves the crowd as we all danced the night away!

Yes, I want to help ready Houston’s kids
for kindergarten and the future.