The Pottstown School District has been awarded a seven month, $175,000 planning grant by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. The grant will enable the school district to work with the community – particularly parents, as well as the local agencies and community leaders who serve them – to seek input on key values and motivators to increase family participation in early childhood and parent education programs.
The district will work with the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Project for Civic Engagement to coordinate the community outreach and dialogue. As part of the seven month long planning grant the district and Penn have created an advisory group of formal and informal leaders in the community who will assist in the outreach and provide advice on strategies for connecting with families. Through this advisory group, the Penn Project will assist in training community members to serve as facilitators for community forums which will be held throughout Pottstown. The information gathered through the forums will be analyzed and used to help develop strategies to increase family engagement.
At the end of the planning period, the Pottstown School District will submit an application to the Kellogg Foundation for a multi-year implementation grant which could result in over a million dollar investment in early childhood education and engagement.
Dr. Jeffrey Sparagana, Superintendent of Schools, said, “We are excited to have a national foundation like W. K. Kellogg interestedin our community and providing funding to support positive change. This grant will allow us to identify needs and develop strategies that will ultimately lead to programs that will encourage greater participation and partnership, and provide our most precious resource, our youth, the best opportunities for future success.”
Mary Rieck, PEAK Coordinator for the Pottstown School District, said, “We are particularly pleased by the fact that even though Pennsylvania is not a priority area of funding for the W. K. Kellogg Foundation we were able to develop a compelling case which led to the funding grant.”
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.