Kellogg Foundation Supports a Stronger Future for Children Helping to improve communities
Helping to improve communities
By Yesenia Bernal
The key to a stronger future and society is early childhood education. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation helps support this by giving schools and programs grants. They even help early childhood education right here in Grand Rapids by assisting both public elementary schools and other early childhood development programs. The Kellogg Foundation believes that every child has a fair chance in succeeding in school as well in life. Andrew Brower, a program officer at the Kellogg Foundation said, “Science and research shows that the brain absorbs and learns the most information at a young age so it’s the best time to teach life skills for young children to make them successful for life.”
The biggest grant receiver in Grand Rapids is Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative (ELNC). The ELNC uses the grant money to create new childcare slots and to provide parenting classes for locals. Getting this money allows educators, as well as parents, to prepare and teach children building blocks for life including things like: language arts, science, math, or anything else that will help them become a well-rounded person. One of the current programs funded by the Kellogg Foundation is called Little Schools. This program helps preschoolers in vulnerable neighborhoods get prepared for kindergarten. In 2011, the ELNC received a $5 million, four-year grant from the Kellogg Foundation to help support the Little Schools program.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation focuses on children’s education and development from when they are newborns until they are eight-years-old. The Kellogg Foundation understands that by supporting programs and giving grants they are helping children learn skills that will support them for the rest of their lives.
Brower believes every child, no matter their background, race, or gender, around the world should receive as many opportunities as possible and nothing should hold them back. He goes on to say, “the Kellogg Foundation gives grants to benefit early childhood education because they want to provide children and families with the best opportunities to be successful.“
Early childhood education and development benefits children, families and communities by helping children to be prepared for educational success. By the third grade it helps them succeed in school, work, and life. Children who attend early education programs are shown to have greater intelligence scores and better social and emotional behavior, and the programs ensure individuals are given chances to reach their full potential, compared to children who did not attend early education programs.
Research conducted by W. Steven Barnett, a director of the National Institute for Early Education Research, found that those who attended preschool outranked those who did not attend. Information taken from a Perry Preschool study found that students who went to these programs are 20 percent more likely to graduate from high school than students who did not attend any early childhood education program. These programs have been shown to affect strength in society by reducing dropout and repetition rates, increasing achievements in schools, greater adult productivity, and as a result, allowing for more advantages to society.
The Kellogg Foundation continues to help in Grand Rapids by giving grants to elementary schools in order to help improve the quality of teachers. In addition, Grand Rapids youth education and development improvements are aided and improved because of the help of the Kellogg Foundation.
The Kellogg Foundation is always excited to help with early childhood education programs. For more information about grants and how to get involved visit the Kellogg Foundation at: http://www.wkkf.org/grantseekers .