DuPage Foundation announced today that its Bright & Early DuPage (B&ED) Initiative has awarded grants totaling $273,600 to support eight early childhood collaborative efforts throughout DuPage County, in which individuals share knowledge and resources to promote the growth and development of young children, with the ultimate goal of preparing them to be successful in school.
This year, local early childhood collaboratives were invited to apply for grants up to $50,000 to support clearly outlined programs in the areas of System Capacity Building ($20,000) and Parent Engagement ($30,000).
“Engaging parents and providing them with educational opportunities and connections to resources is one of the key aspects of early childhood collaborations,” said Barb Szczepaniak, vice president for programs for DuPage Foundation. “During the pandemic, area collaboratives became vitally important and many brought parent advocates on staff to better reach families. Parents tend to trust advocates and are more comfortable forming strong relationships with them because they understand the culture of those living in each community, speak the language, and are similar in age.”
The following eight organizations received grants through DuPage Foundations’ B&ED Initiative:
$50,000: Addison Partners for Play, Learning & Education (APPLE)
To support the Family Advocate position and actively engage low-income parents, connecting them to resources and early childhood programs, with an additional focus on building capacity within local home-based, early childcare programs.
$30,000 Bensenville Early Learners Supporters (BELS)
To support an outreach staff member and parent leader salaries/stipends, that provide parent education programs and activities designed to connect families to resources and early childhood programs.
$30,000 Birth to Five Coalition (Bloomingdale, Carol Stream and Hanover Park)
To support activities and parent education programs that educate and engage families to prepare children for kindergarten.
$30,000 Glenbard Early Childhood Collaborative (GECC)
To support activities and supplies that actively engage low-income parents and connect them to resources and early childhood programs.
$30,000 Villa Park Area Early Childhood Collaborative
To support the Parent Navigator position and the purchase of outreach supplies that engage low-income parents and connect them to resources and early childhood programs.
$50,000 Willowbrook Corner Coalition
To support the salary of the Community Outreach and Family Support Specialist position that leads the Willowbrook Corner Coalition, and to actively engage with low-income parents in order to connect them to resources and early childhood programs. (Funding provided by the Snodgrass Family Fund of DuPage Foundation.)
$13,600 WeGo Together for Kids
To support four Pop-Up events throughout West Chicago that engage parents and connect them to resources and early childhood programs.
$40,000 Wheaton Warrenville Early Childhood Collaborative
To support the Family Advocate position and supplies that actively engage low-income parents and connect them to resources and early childhood programs.
About DuPage Foundation’s Bright & Early DuPage Initiative
The mission of Bright & Early DuPage (B&ED) is to build sustainable, coordinated, local early childhood systems that actively work to increase access to quality education and support for children and families with limited resources. Six to seven grants are awarded annually to help achieve this mission.
About DuPage Foundation
DuPage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) community foundation, is the philanthropic leader in DuPage County, Illinois. DuPage Foundation manages more than $130 million in assets and has awarded more than $80 million in grants since its founding in 1986. Individuals and organizations seeking to provide impactful support to address critical issues in DuPage County and beyond can create powerful customizable gift solutions and partnerships through DuPage Foundation. Learn more at dupagefoundation.org. Doing a world of good in our own backyard.®