DENVER (August 27, 2019) – The Road to Reading initiative, a citywide partnership between the Office of Children’s Affairs, Denver Public Schools, Mile High United Way, Children’s Museum of Denver, Denver Public Library, and Denver Human Services awarded $5,000 grants to five local organizations to increase access to high-quality, early learning opportunities for children from birth to age three.
“Learning and literacy count from day one, and lay the foundation for a child’s success in school and in life,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “Our city and partners for the Road to Reading initiative are committed to supporting the families of these early learners and ensuring they have the necessary tools to build a strong academic future for their children.”
The Road to Reading community partnership is guided by the Birth to Eight Roadmap. It’s designed to provide resources for families, caregivers and educators to best support a child’s early years of development and ensure they enter school ready to learn. Local, nonprofit organizations located in the Westwood, Montbello, Sun Valley, College View and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods were each selected to receive a $5,000 grant based upon their experience in delivering high-quality programs in early childcare. These funds were made available through a $25,000 grant awarded to the Office of Children’s Affairs from the National League of Cities in recognition and support of their work around early language and literacy with Denver families and children prenatal to age three.
“We’re excited to move the Birth to Eight Roadmap initiative from recommendations to action by providing funds to nonprofit organizations in our communities who are transforming the lives of Denver’s youngest learners,” said Charles Dukes, Education Policy Director for the Office of Children’s Affairs. “Research shows that brain development is crucial during the first five years of life, so it’s important that we create high-quality learning opportunities for children during those early developmental stages.”
“It is critical to support boots-on-the-ground work,” said Lisa Roy, Executive Director of Early Education for Denver Public Schools. “These micro grants will ensure that families with young children have the supports they need to enhance the language and literacy skills of their children.”
The five grantees selected, include:
- La Piñata del Aprendizaje
- Parents for Parity
- Roots Family Center
- Venture for Success Preparatory Learning Center
Grantee organizations will connect their programs to the Birth to Eight Roadmap throughout the school year by implementing early learning opportunities outside of the classroom, such as play and learn groups, home visiting programs, language and literacy programs, and training for Family Members, Friends and Neighbors (FFN providers).