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New Grant to Strengthen Family Engagement, Improve Early Learning
MSDE’s $750,000 Kellogg Grant will Bolster School Readiness
BALTIMORE – The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood Development (DECD) has been awarded a two-year, $750,000 grant to implement a statewide early childhood family engagement framework by providing support to local organizations that improve young children’s school readiness.
The new award from the Kellogg Foundation will allow Maryland’s Early Childhood Family Engagement Coalition and the DECD to expand on their family engagement work, based on the goals and strategies embedded in Maryland’s Early Childhood Family Engagement Framework. The Coalition and the DECD will disseminate resources and actuate the State’s Communication and Technology Plan developed under an initial Kellogg grant awarded in 2015.
The Communication and Technology Plan allows Maryland to address the needs of parents with young children by utilizing easily accessible modes of communication, including text and social media. In addition, DECD will be partnering with the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish a consortium of states on family engagement to support other states in their efforts.
“By connecting to the families of our youngest learners, we stand a much better chance of sparking an interest in learning from the very start,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “The generous grant from Kellogg gives support to our goal of making sure all our children enter kindergarten ready to learn.”
The grant is designed to help service providers better recognize and meet family needs, keep parents informed and engaged in children’s learning, and reduce the sense of social isolation for parents.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by the breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the nation’s largest philanthropies. WKKF is guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, and works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential. More information can be found at www.wkkf.org.