The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has announced the launch of two initiatives to ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
The new initiatives, both funded through the foundation's Children, Families, and Communities program, will address healthy development and quality early learning opportunities for children. Through the ten-year Starting Smart and Strong Initiative, the foundation aims to ensure that all children grow up healthy and ready for kindergarten by improving the quality of adult-child interactions across all settings where young children learn and grow. To that end, the foundation will partner with three California communities to develop and test solutions that support the efforts of parents, caregivers, and educators to help children be healthy and instill in them a sense of self-confidence and love of learning. Inaugural Starting Smart and Strong grants were awarded to the Franklin-McKinley School District, the Fresno Unified School District, and the Oakland Public Education Fund, which will work with community partners to implement the initiative in their respective communities.
The three-year Children's Healthy Development initiative is designed to support innovative approaches to ensuring that all children receive the developmental screening, support, and intervention they need to grow and thrive. Initial grants were awarded grants to Children Now (California), the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law (Illinois), Voices for Ohio's Children, and the Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.