Mile High Montessori and Clayton Early Learning Receive W. K. Kellogg Foundation Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: PAMELA HARRIS, PRESIDENT & CEO, Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers 303.962.2623,  pamelah@milehighmontessori.org

Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers Receives W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grant to Support Early Childhood Education

-Project Focuses on Ensuring that Children are Ready for Kindergarten-

Denver, CO – April 18, 2012 - Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers has received a $590,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for the innovative Neighborhoods For Learning project. 

Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers, in collaboration with long-time partner Clayton Early Learning, will help ensure that children are ready for school by enhancing educational quality in formal and informal early learning settings and creating sustainable communities of practice within targeted Denver neighborhoods.

“This is an incredible opportunity to provide coordinated early care and education services for children, birth to age 8, in specific Denver neighborhoods to ensure that children have access to high quality and culturally responsive early childhood programs” said Dr. Pamela Harris, President and CEO, Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers.

With deep roots in their respective neighborhoods, Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers and Clayton Early Learning will serve as anchor institutions and as conduits for effective practices, creating connections and infusing quality in all early learning settings and among those adults who impact a child’s life. The targeted neighborhoods include those in the Children’s Corridor (northeast Denver) and the Westwood community where Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers and Clayton Early Learning are located.

“The vision of the Children’s Corridor is that all children have access to high quality education, comprehensive health care, and a supportive environment. We believe this partnership between Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers and Clayton Early Learning will help achieve that vision”, said Terry Minger, President & CEO of The Piton Foundation.

An Early Learning Consortium including key neighborhood stakeholders will be convened to conduct an in-depth assessment of neighborhood assets and resources; potential challenges and
barriers; and strategic priorities for the future so that quality early learning experiences can be provided for all children. This project will collaborate with individual neighborhoods to identify, build and leverage their own community assets—people, places and programs—to ensure that children achieve optimal development and success in school.

“We’re excited to be part of this very promising project to establish community-wide engagement in and ownership of children’s school readiness in some of the most challenged areas of our city. All families want the very best for their children and the activities within this project will help them create a roadmap to achieve that goal”, said Charlotte Brantley, President and CEO of Clayton Early Learning.

Neighborhoods For Learning will also work closely with Denver Public Schools on children’s transitions from early learning settings to kindergarten, longitudinal tracking of child outcomes and broader community implications to ensure that children are successful in school. “With the statewide focus on early literacy, this project will build upon those efforts while enhancing local communities’ abilities to support children’s school readiness,” said Dr. Harris.

For more than 40 years, Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers has been providing quality early childhood education to Denver’s most vulnerable children to prepare them for school. Serving over 425 low income children ages 6 weeks to 5 years and their families residing in Denver’s poorest neighborhoods daily, Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers ensures that children ready for school by supporting their cognitive, emotional, physical and social development.

For more information, visit www.milehighmontessori.org

Clayton Early Learning is Colorado’s leading catalyst in providing and improving early education during the critical prenatal-to-5 period. The non-profit organization, which includes an onsite Educare School, harnesses the synergy of research, practice and training to close learning gaps for the children who need it most. Through its public and private partnerships, Clayton Early Learning drives system change throughout the state championing the fact that quality early education can and does change lives.

For more information, visit www.claytonearlylearning.org.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, 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 American and the Caribbean, and southern Africa.

For further information on the foundation, please visit www.wkkf.org

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