It's no secret that the years between birth to five are an important time for children. Education experts agree these years are critical to brain development, and yet many children entering Kindergarten are often unprepared for the next step in their education and development.
When we ensure that all children are ready for kindergarten, we help to prepare them for a lifetime of learning. But according to the 2017-2018 Maryland Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, only 45% of Maryland Kindergartners demonstrated readiness. Encompassing the areas of social foundations, language and literacy, math, and physical wellbeing and motor development, the testing helps teachers, families, and schools identify areas of focus to help children succeed.
“Early educational programs are proven to drastically enhance a child’s success in grade school and beyond,” states Annette Wallace, CFES Board Member and Pocomoke High School Principal. “Children experience rapid brain development in these early years and the skills they learn during this time will be the foundation to life-long learning.”
Annually, The Community Foundation of the Eastern shore chooses a specific focus for Community Initiative grant funding that is vital to strengthening the local community. CFES partners with area professionals and community leaders to identify and support opportunities for grant funding that will create significant impact. The 2018 Community Initiatives grant funding will focus on programs that expand and enhance kindergarten readiness experiences for children of the Lower Eastern Shore - known as the Early Childhood Initiative.
“By building a better educational foundation in our community, future generations can thrive right here on the Lower Eastern Shore,” says Jim Thomas, CFES Chairman of the Board of Directors. “That is just what the Community Foundation is all about – investing in our community now and in the future.”
The Community Foundation is expecting to award $75,000 in grants for the Early Childhood Education Initiative, with a maximum award of $7,500 per applicant. Applications that are collaborative in nature, and willing to enhance existing programs and draw upon the resources and skills of programs in our area, our schools, and/or early learning centers, are strongly encouraged. The grant application deadline is May 31, 2018. Visit CFES.org/nonprofits for more information.