The Foundation Makes a Commitment to Worcester Children
During April, the Foundation awarded $341,000 to twelve projects through our children’s initiative, a grant making and advocacy effort to change the possibilities for Worcester’s youngest children and their families.
Babies born today have only 2,000 days to become ready for kindergarten, not all that much time to nurture the rapid brain growth that depends on positive developmental experiences experiences. For low-income families, stressed by economics and lack of access, there is a special need for help through community supports. Children who experience healthy and stimulating environments more easily develop language skills, emotional health, problem-solving abilities, and more - all leading to significantly better performance later in school. And, just as much as our outstanding college and universities, drive the economic success of our region
As the region’s oldest and largest Community Foundation, we take responsibility for the most pressing needs of the community, and we’re in it for the long haul. Our focus on the youngest among us makes good sense for today and for the long term. We are currently investing in three specific areas: assuring more access to high quality early care, supporting families in their roles as teachers, caregivers, and supporters of their children’s development, and helping eliminate summer learning loss.
Early childhood investments are a proven driver of community and economic prosperity. Nobel Laureate James Heckman and others have documented that every dollar invested in the healthy development of children yields a significant return on investment, with high quality programs yielding $7-$16 in public benefit for every dollar invested. This starts with benefits for the children themselves, but its ripple effects include reduced crime, social service costs and the economic growth of the entire community. It’s a whole-community challenge with big payoffs for all of us.