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Helping Wabash County thrive

Long Term

Wabash County

Vision & Mission

Vision & Mission

The vision of First Five of Wabash County is to revitalize our community, so it can thrive long term. Our mission is to transform our community by connecting school readiness to economic success for Wabash County.


First Five of Wabash County has Five main goals we hope to accomplish:

  • Increase Capacity 

  • Increase Accessibility

  • Improve Quality

  • Increase Affordability 

  • Increase Parent and Community Engagement

Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

A group of over 20 individuals and organizations came together in 2017 to better understand the needs of early childhood education in our community. Through their work, we created a plan for how we imagine the future of young children and their families in Wabash County.  You can view the strategic plan and one-page roadmap below.

Wabash County Early Learning Strategic P
Wabash County Early Learning Plan One-Pa

Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Wabash County is facing big problems. We struggle with population decline, low educational achievement and drug abuse. The good news is that there is compelling research and evidence that if we invest in our youngest citizens then we can turn these problems around. If we do nothing, our community will not improve. By focusing on early childhood education, we support the workforce of today and the future.

Wabash County Early Childhood Education Coalition (WCECEC) is a group of citizens of Wabash County who recognize the need for highly-rated, affordable early childhood education. The coalition is made up of parents, employers, teachers, civic leaders, religious leaders, librarians, doctors, and others who recognize that early childhood education is key to our success as a community, not only in the future, but now! Child and family well-being depends on it. Parents who work depend on it. Employers who want well-adapted, skilled workers now and in the future need it.

Meet the Steering Committee:

Julie Garber, Chair

Program Director, Community Foundation of Wabash County

James Chinworth

Retired Pastor, Manchester Church of the Brethren

Brandon Eaton

Pastor, Wabash Friends Church

Keith Gillenwater

CEO, Grow Wabash County

Steve Johnson

Executive Director, Wabash County United Fund

Paige Krouse

Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Manchester University

Scott Long

Mayor of the City of Wabash

Amanda Lopez

President, Transform Consulting Group

Raylene Rospond

Vice President for Academic Affairs, Manchester University

Heather Schilling

Chair, Department of Education, Manchester University

Kelly Stouffer

Director of Human Resources, Ford Meter Box

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