For Immediate Release
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation today announced three new grants to expand access to high-quality early care and education for all infants, toddlers and preschoolers in our nation’s capital and to support models of early education for communities across the country. The three organizations receiving the grants are: Pre-K for All DC, DC Action for Children and Bounce DC.
At a time when President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are looking to improve student achievement by strengthening early learning, these organizations are leading a citywide effort to ensure that all young children in the District of Columbia receive the strong foundation they need to succeed in school and life.
“There are close to 2,000 children in the District of Columbia who lack access to early education programs and that demand is growing,” said Sterling Speirn, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “It is encouraging to see these three organizations working to increase access to quality, early education for children in our nation’s capital, which ultimately can be national models for key national stakeholders to see, visit and understand the needs of vulnerable children in a more concrete way.”
With a one-year $300,000 grant, Pre-K for All DC will build a model system of early care and quality education for all children in the District of Columbia from birth to age five. As part of this effort, they will also look to help the city’s leadership understand the educational and economic benefits to providing universal access to quality pre-k.
“The support of the Kellogg Foundation will strengthen our efforts to continue building public knowledge, public will and public action so that all children get a great start in school and life. Specifically, the grant will enhance our ability to advocate for full implementation of the District’s Pre-K Expansion and Enhancement Act of 2008 and develop a policy/legislative agenda based on our recent Birth to Three Leadership Summit. Both of these efforts are critical building blocks for the District’s education reform agenda and its long-term economic vitality,” says Carrie Thornhill, president of Pre-K for All DC.
DC Action for Children’s goal is to provide broad access to quality education for all of the District’s children ages 0-8. The organization will work to address the critical need for stronger, more coordinated and comprehensive early care and education programs that will improve school readiness, and ultimately address the interdependent issues that may hinder children’s success in school. DC Action for Children will receive a two-year $400,000 grant to meet these goals.
“The District faces a critical shortage of quality, affordable child care, particularly for our most vulnerable children in low-income communities,” said HyeSook Chung, executive director of DC Action for Children. “We need to expand access and capacity, while raising standards and professional development to ensure that all of our children get a strong start in life with quality early care and education that begins at birth.”
As one of several funders, the Kellogg Foundation is contributing a $5 million, two-year grant to Bounce DC to open a new Educare school that will serve 175 low-income children and families living in the Parkside neighborhood (Ward 7) of Washington, D.C. Bounce DC is working with local partners in an effort to help transform the local community into a DC Promise Neighborhood, modeled after New York’s Harlem Children’s Zone. Building this model environment in the District of Columbia offers an opportunity for all children to benefit from the engagement and support from the nation’s policymakers.
Established in 1930, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families, and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa. For further information, visit www.wkkf.org