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Hope Starts Here unveils framework to improve early childhood outcomes in Detroit

Nicole de Beaufort, EarlyWorks, llc.
Cell: 612.353.7895

Kathy A. Reincke, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Cell: 269.274.5445

W.Kim Heron, The Kresge Foundation
Cell: 313.478.0197

DETROIT, November 10, 2017 – The W.K. Kellogg and Kresge Foundations today released the Hope Starts Here Community Framework, a 10-year playbook that outlines Detroit’s community vision for placing young children and families at the center of public policy and business decisions. The foundations also announced today that collectively they will give $50 million to ensure that the community framework imperatives are moved into action and produce results.

Hope Starts Here is a community-driven partnership supported by the foundations to make Detroit a city that puts its young children and families first by creating a stronger connection between early childhood, health and education; and improving the quality of and access to early childhood services. The Community Framework released today is directly informed by more than 18,000 Detroiters who contributed to a yearlong planning process to ensure that children are born healthy, prepared for kindergarten, and ready for success by third grade and beyond. The framework is comprised of six strategic imperatives and 15 supporting strategies and 26 public policy priorities, which are all essential for implementation and success. 

Hope Starts Here co-chairs Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation, and La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, were joined by Dr. Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District, who shared that the Community Framework aligns with the district’s recently released strategic plan. Alexis Wiley, chief of staff for the Mayor of Detroit, also contributed remarks at the event, reinforcing Mayor Michael Duggan’s commitment to putting children and families at the center of city decision-making. 

“This is just a remarkable commitment to the children of Detroit and I can’t thank the W.K. Kellogg and Kresge Foundations enough for their continued support,” said Mayor Duggan. “Their focus on early childhood development fills a critical need and will help make sure our youngest children have every opportunity to grow up and lead healthy, successful lives. The fact that they spent a year working with thousands of Detroit parents to develop their plan tells me it will be a great success.” 

The two foundation leaders emphasized that major resources will be needed to realize the framework, and both announced multimillion, multiyear pledges toward the goal. 

Achieving positive and equitable outcomes for Detroit’s children requires significant and sustained private and public investment, over time. We hope our three-year, $25 million initial commitment to strengthen networks for quality early childhood education and widen access for Detroit families will catalyze additional support from public and private investors,” said Montgomery Tabron. “Hope Starts Here embodies our belief that quality early childhood education is critical to our children’s success. Detroit’s children are vital to the city’s recovery. Their well-being is our city’s unfinished business.”

Kresge’s Rip Rapson agrees. “Detroit must aspire to be a city that puts children first. Hope Starts Here is a powerful first step in that direction,” he said. “Kresge is proud to lend its full support to the pathways to progress that Hope Starts Here identifies. So proud, in fact, that we are committing $25 million over the next five years to support them, including a commitment to the upgrading of facilities, the creation of a small grant program for early childhood providers, and the strengthening of networks of learning and practice among early childhood professionals.” 

Moving into action, the Kellogg and Kresge Foundations will support the implementation of the Hope Starts Here Community Framework with $50 million in funding. Some first steps to do that will include:  

  • Detroit Early Childhood Advocacy Network This network of community organizations will join forces to align work and advocate for policies that support young children and their families.
  • Community Connections Small Grants Early Childhood program – This community-based grant program will fund neighborhood level projects and prototypes inspired by the Hope Starts Here process. It is designed to help community groups create, fund and implement projects that support the Hope Starts Here framework.
  • United Way Text to Give Program – This is an individual donor fund for which United Way of Southeastern Michigan will serve as the fiduciary. Donors can text HOPE to 50503. The Kellogg and The Kresge Foundations will provide a dollarfor-dollar match from Nov. 10 – Dec. 31, 2017.  
  • Continued support for convening the Stewardship Board – Hope Starts Here’s governing body, its Stewardship Board, will continue to meet into 2018. 

About Hope Starts Here
Hope Starts Here is a community engagement and strategic planning process designed to create a vision and an action plan to make Detroit an equitable, world-class city for its youngest residents and their families. For more information, visit www.HopeStartsHereDetroit.org or follow on Facebook @HopeStartsHereDetroit 

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