United Way for Southeastern Michigan Awards $8 Million to Early Childhood Education Programs

The United Way for Southeastern Michigan has announced grants totaling $8 million to eleven organizations working to prepare low-income children in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties for kindergarten.

The grants, which are funded through a $4 million investment from the Social Innovation Fund and a matching $4 million allocation of funds UWSEM received from the General Motors Foundation for their Networks of Excellence initiative, will be used to help ensure that 80 percent of Detroit youth start kindergarten prepared to learn.

The grant recipients were selected through a competitive bid process and include the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, the Detroit Parent Network, Detroit Public Television, the Guidance Center, Living Arts, the Macomb Intermediate School District, Matrix Human Services, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, Southwest Counseling Solutions, Starfish Family Services, and Vanguard Community Development Corporation.

"Through these grants and the donation from the General Motors Foundation for the Networks of Excellence initiative, we are furthering our mission to help ensure our region's children are ready to learn," said UWSEM president and CEO Michael J. Brennan. "These organizations represent a diverse cross-section of community partners who share a common goal: to prepare children to become proficient readers and, ultimately, to provide them with the building blocks they need for a successful life."