The Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $5 million to seventeen nonprofit organizations working in the areas of early care and education.
The grants will fund a range of projects, including principal preparation, early math instruction, access to common learning standards, public policy, and advocacy. Grant recipients include the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, which was awarded $355,000 over two years to help early education teachers who need additional training or degrees that correlate to better child outcomes; the University of Chicago — Thirty Million Words, which will receive $225,000 over two years to advance a multimedia curriculum that addresses language deficits in toddlers; Action for Illinois Children, which was awarded $250,000 for an initiative to drive continuous quality improvements in early childhood programs; and the Rush Neurobehavioral Center, which will receive $300,000 to implement a preschool executive functioning curriculum in five Chicago elementary schools.
In addition, New Leaders was awarded a general operating support grant of $250,000 to provide principal training programs; SIUE/IL Education Research Council and the Consortium on Chicago School Readiness were awarded a two-year, $500,000 grant in support of their efforts to evaluate principal preparation efforts in the state; and Sesame Workshop was awarded $250,000 over two years to develop and implement an autism spectrum awareness initiative.
"We can never forget a fundamental fact: learning begins at birth," said Sara Slaughter, director of the foundation's education program. "That's why we have several grants focused exclusively on the first three years of life. Those grants address language acquisition and nurturing teachers, as well as parents, so the adults in a young child’s life can create good learning environments, especially for our children in low-income families."
For a full list of grant recipients, visit the McCormick Foundation Website.