Danbury, Conn. (January 9, 2013) — Danbury’s Promise for Children Partnership today announced grant support for implementing its community plan for early childhood literacy programming. Discovery grants are funded by the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, the Children’s Fund of Connecticut, and the Connecticut State Department of Education. This grant will help to ensure all children in Danbury, regardless of race and income level, are ready for school by age five and prepared to be successful learners by age nine.
"Danbury's children benefit greatly when everyone works together to create an early childhood system--one in which schools, childcare providers, businesses and the health community partner to prepare children for success in school. Underlying this system is a deep understanding that parents are their children's first and most important role models and teachers," said Caroline LaFleur, Coordinator Danbury's Promise for Children Partnership. "This grant from the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund is helping us build a city where all children have the chance for a great start in life."
The goal of Discovery is to create an early childhood system that ensures optimal healthy development leading to early learning success for Connecticut children of all races and income levels. Discovery supports communities in establishing collaborative structures in which parents are full partners. Each community creates and implements its own community plan. Advocates and other stakeholders work to improve policy and practice at the local and state levels. Across Connecticut, 52 communities focus on improving the quality of and access to early care and education for children from birth through age five, improving the quality of PreK-3 education in ways that increase early language and literacy development among all children, improving young children’s health and social/emotional development, and increasing local and statewide capacity to measure and continue improvements.
Danbury’s Promise for Children Partnership, launched in 2007, serves as a local resource for children from birth to age eight and their families. The Partnership seeks to engage parents in their child’s early childhood education – birth through age eight, and in taking leadership roles within the community on behalf of all children.
In Danbury, funds have been used to reach out to parents to connect them to the resources they need to support their families and to help parents understand the importance of early literacy and learning. Community outreach efforts include the distribution of Directories of Resources for Danbury Families in English and Spanish, parent workshops on early learning, and an early childhood community fair. Danbury’s Promise for Children Partnership also funded a study that shows how School Readiness Programs in Danbury are closing the Achievement Gap.
“Discovery communities are building on their own local resources to develop an early childhood system that reflects the needs and values of the community,” said David M. Nee, Executive Director, William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund. “We are pleased to support local collaborative councils, along with our state partners, with both funding and training, so that children of all races and income levels can become successful learners.”
“For children to succeed in school, attention to their health and social-emotional development beginning at birth, is essential,” said Judith Meyers, President and CEO of the Children’s Fund of Connecticut and its nonprofit subsidiary the Child Health and Development Institute (CHDI). “We are pleased to help community collaboratives address early child health in all aspects of their work and engage health providers along with others to optimize the chances for children’s success in school and in life.”
Grants from the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund to Discovery communities across the state are made possible by partnerships with the State Department of Education, Children’s Fund of Connecticut, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Connecticut Center for School Change.
William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund’s Discovery initiative offers grants and capacity building to 52 communities and six statewide partners. Capacity building is currently available in the areas of collaboration, parent engagement, results-based accountability, community planning and decision-making, and facilitative leadership. To learn more, visit: http://discovery.wcgmf.org.
About the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund
The William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund works collaboratively to improve education for Connecticut’s children by strengthening the involvement of parents and the community in education, promoting school change and informing the public debate on educational issues.