The Nevada Institute for Children's Research and Policy (NICRP) at UNLV, in partnership with the Children's Advocacy Alliance (CAA), received a $1 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation recently to advance efforts to promote access to high-quality early childhood education programs in Nevada.
"This is an important effort to engage more stakeholders - including parents, businesses and community members - in conversations to assure more of Nevada's children receive affordable, high-quality, early childhood education," said Carla D. Thompson, vice president for program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. "We believe this partnership offers a strong base to better connect local and state organizations toward improved educational outcomes for Nevada's children."
The grant enhances existing work by both organizations to educate parents, policymakers and the community about the need for and benefits of early childhood education.
"Quality early childhood education reduces the need for remediation and intervention in later years," said Tara Phebus, executive director of NICRP. "We are excited to have the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in promoting early childhood education in Nevada and have already begun planning a number of activities designed to build support for quality programming in Nevada."
The organizations created and distributed the 2015 Children's Legislative Briefing Book to state lawmakers earlier this year educate them on important issues surrounding early childhood education in Nevada. They will also host events at the Nevada Legislature, provide policy makers with research and policy briefs between sessions, and create a business guide for employers outlining early childhood education options and available resources.
"Before we can see significant improvement in policies and practices for high quality early childhood education, we must first develop broad-based awareness of the need, current services and available resources," said Denise Tanata-Ashby, CAA executive director. "This added support will help us arm parents, educators and policy makers with the latest research, information and best practices so they can make informed decisions."
Grant funds will also expand current statewide programs and partnerships, including Step Up for Kids and Nevada's Strong Start for Children Campaign, which emphasize the importance of early childhood education in Nevada and connect parents with available resources and services.
The third biennial Children's Week at the Legislature will be held March 9-12 in Carson City. During Children's Week events, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the legislative process and interact with legislators on issues important to Nevada's children.
On March 9 at 5:30 p.m., NICRP and CAA will host a legislative reception at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City. Legislators will hear more about the importance of early childhood education , the investment from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The 2014 "Children's Champions" will also be honored for their contribution to improving the lives of children in Nevada.
About the Nevada Institute for Children's Research and Policy
The Nevada Institute for Children's Research and Policy (NICRP), located within the UNLV School of Community Health Sciences, is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to improving the lives of children through research, advocacy and policy analysis in an effort to enhance the quality, availability and effectiveness of programs and services in Nevada. NICRP is also home to Prevent Child Abuse Nevada, a chartered chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, as well as Every Child Matters in Nevada.
About the Children's Advocacy Alliance
The Children's Advocacy Alliance (CAA) is a community-based nonprofit organization that mobilizes people, resources and reason to ensure every child has a chance to thrive and to make Nevada a better place to live and raise a family. CAA collects, analyzes and shares research and information with people who make decisions impacting Nevada's children and families. It believes in building public will through education, outreach, and advocacy to solve expansive and chronic problems facing kids and families.
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.