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Vol 56 No. 17 | Dec. 2004
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S. Mark Taper Foundation Awards $50,000 Grant to REACH Project at CSULB to Support Early Childhood Professionals

The S. Mark Taper Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to the REACH Project at CSULB to support the training and development of early childhood professionals involved in the program.

REACH (Readiness and Early Activities for Children from the Heart) is a five-year community collaborative relationship designed to enhance the education and retention of early childhood professionals in eight child care centers within the 90806 ZIP code of the city of Long Beach. CSULB is the lead institution and its primary partners are the Long Beach Unified School District's Head Start Centers and Child Development Center and the child care agency, Young Horizons.

“The overall goal of the REACH Project is to improve children's school readiness,” noted Sue Stanley, chair of the CSULB Family and Consumer Sciences Department and director of the REACH Project. “Now, that's a pretty broad topic. So, within that overall goal, we have chosen to focus our efforts on making sure that the early childhood professionals have the best possible training to help prepare children for kindergarten.

“We're very excited that the S. Mark Taper Foundation has chosen to participate in this project,” she continued. “The foundation's contribution will be used for the early childhood professionals to complete the ‘Early Steps for Reading Success' course, and it will allow them to attend quarterly meetings that will help these professionals stay updated on emergent literacy.”

Stanley said that literacy is one of the most important preparations in developing children's school readiness and many of the REACH Project's efforts deal specifically with literacy.

“This grant will help us make sure that all of the early childhood professionals are qualified, under the universal preschool guidelines, to be preschool teachers,” she added. “It also helps us meet an important designated community need of making sure that every child has the opportunity to go to preschool.”

The Taper Foundation joins an impressive list of fund-providing organizations that are supporting the REACH Project, including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Other supporting groups include the William Keck Foundation, the Confidence Foundation and the Crail Johnson Foundation.

Founded in 1989, the S. Mark Taper Foundation is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of people's lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and their work in the community.

 

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