Ernie from Sesame Street made a special appearance at the Everyday Learning Collaborative announcement.
Sharon Darling, Founder and President, National Center for Families Learning
From left: Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer; Kevin Fields, Senior VP/COO, Louisville Central Community Center
New Everyday Learning Collaborative will impact more than 100,000 Kentucky children and families
The Everyday Learning Collaborative has received more than $1.14 million in grants from the James Graham Brown Foundation and the PNC Foundation. This new partnership among Kentucky Educational Television (KET), the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) and Metro United Way will provide unique and effective resources for early childhood educators and families throughout Kentucky.
The announcement was made this morning at Louisville Central Community Center’s Mini-Versity Child Development Center.
The James Graham Brown Foundation’s grant of $818,775 is the second-largest private gift in KET’s history. As part of its Grow Up Great initiative, the PNC Foundation invested an additional $325,000, following a $150,000 grant in 2010 that helped launch KET’s Everyday Science for Preschoolers? prototype.
With these grants, KET will create an expansive collection of Everyday Learning videos, interactives and classroom activities. These will be distributed free online for use by early childhood educators and families. Curriculum toolkits for educators, conveniently organized in binders, will offer lesson plans and training materials.
More than 1,000 early childhood educators statewide will receive free, hands-on training with these materials from KET, NCFL and Metro United Way that will impact an estimated 28,000 children and families during the grant project period. With ongoing curriculum development and online training, it is expected that more than 100,000 Kentucky children and families will be impacted by the project over the next seven years. A particular focus will be to serve low-income children, where need is often high and resources are limited.
The Everyday Learning Collaborative aims to increase early childhood educator effectiveness and family engagement to help improve school readiness in science, math, social studies, health and the arts.
There is an urgent need to prepare Kentucky’s children with skills necessary for success in today’s global economy, which begins with preparing them for kindergarten. However, according to pilot data released by the Kentucky Department of Education, only 28 percent of incoming kindergarten students in Kentucky were ready to succeed without additional support.
This initiative expands upon the hundreds of hours of educational preschool content on television and online, like Sesame Street, that KET provides to Kentucky homes and childcare centers.
“We believe every child should enter school prepared for success,” said Shae Hopkins, KET executive director and CEO. “Public-private partnerships are critical to achieving that goal. We are grateful to the James Graham Brown Foundation and PNC for their significant investments. Working with our partners, the National Center for Families Learning and Metro United Way, we’re determined to make a difference for Kentucky’s children.”
“The Foundation is pleased to support this project and grateful to KET and others for their commitment to early childhood education,” said Mason Rummel, president of the James Graham Brown Foundation. “This kind of collaborative approach – to address the crucial need to reach children early in their learning careers – clearly represents our community’s and our state’s priorities.”
"Since the inception of PNC Grow Up Great in 2004, PNC has provided grants to nonprofit organizations which work directly to improve the school readiness of young children by providing support in the key areas of math, science, arts and financial education,” said Chuck Denny, regional president of PNC Bank for Greater Louisville. “By focusing its support in these critical areas, PNC helps prepare teachers to achieve greater results in school readiness, which will yield stronger, smarter and healthier children, families and communities.”
“Research proves that family engagement has a tremendous impact on children’s academic success, and NCFL’s 24 years of experience demonstrates that all parents can help their children, regardless of education or socioeconomic background,” said Sharon Darling, president & founder of the National Center for Families Learning. “This initiative will give families easy, practical tools to strengthen literacy and learning.”
“Metro United Way’s vision is a community whose people achieve their fullest potential through education, financial stability and healthy lives, and we know that education leads to better income and a healthier life,” said Joe Tolan, president and CEO of Metro United Way. “That’s why we have Community Aspirations that include all children entering kindergarten ready to learn, and that parents and caregivers have the knowledge, skills and abilities to maintain family stability and help their children succeed. Our partnership for the Everyday Learning Collaborative is a powerful illustration of just how united we all are in the quest for educational excellence and for success of our children to improve lives and our community.”
“More than one in four Kentucky kindergarteners begin their education at a disadvantage because they aren't prepared to learn,” said Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3), who introduced legislation earlier this year to expand literacy education for students from birth through high school. “Early investment in education provides a foundation for every child to build a strong future, and the Everyday Learning Collaborative is an innovative way to help prepare Kentucky children to achieve that success.”
“KET, the James Graham Brown Foundation and PNC Foundation are doing something that will have a long-term impact on students statewide,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said. “Quality early childhood education is critical to filling the education pipeline in Kentucky with students who are prepared to achieve at high academic levels and develop the skills necessary to succeed in the 21st Century workplace.”
KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, serving more than one million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization on Twitter @KET and facebook.com/KET and at KET.org.