W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants $500,000 to the College Fund

Apr 21st, 2014 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive
By Dina Horwedel

Research has shown that when entire families are engaged in their child’s education from an early age, that child is more likely to succeed in school. A $500,000 grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to the American Indian College Fund will establish an 18-month program to engage Native families in the development and transformation of education practices and outcomes at early childhood education centers located at tribal colleges and universities (TCUs).

The Ké’ Early Childhood Initiative: Strengthening Systems of Shared Responsibility among Native Families, Schools, and Communities positions TCUs to develop opportunities with Native families for engaging in and transforming early childhood educational practices and outcomes by becoming informed educators, researchers, and advocates. Family engagement is a shared responsibility that will promote partnerships and methods to address racial, cultural, and social inequities embedded in educational systems, starting with early learning environments serving Native children from birth to age eight. At each project site, Native families will play a central role in designing, implementing, and examining the success of programmatic innovation. Families and kinship relations will ensure Native culture and language are aligned with academic knowledge presented in early learning program curricula.

This project will impact Native communities in powerful and transformative ways. Collaborations among the Fund, TCUs, and families will generate a visionary movement that is urgently needed to shape the future for young children and families. The College Fund plans to announce TCU grantees in June 2014.

“WKKF is proud to partner with an exceptional organization like the American Indian College Fund, which is clearly committed to ensuring families, schools and communities are working together to help children reach their full potential,” said Carla Thompson, vice-president for program strategy at WKKF. “The College Fund’s focus on the importance of Native culture and language is an especially important reminder that all families are powerful assets for their children’s education.”

Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the Fund said, “As tribal people, our kinship is the foundation of our understanding of the world. Our children are our most important assets and when the family and community surround our children with the best opportunities, partnerships, and resources then we pave the way for more prosperous and healthy tribal societies. The College Fund is pleased that the partnership brings resources to our students and their families in a manner that recognizes our understanding that education is a life-long experience and not only the opportunity to go to college.”

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