PRESS RELEASE: Sixpence Early Learning Fund awards 13 new grants in first round; will begin accepting second-round applications August 1

This press release announces the 13 recipients of Sixpence funds. Want to see the results of what Sixpence programs do? Check out what the Lincoln program is up to. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:

Kathleen Feller (kfeller@nebraskachildren.org) 

Kelly Medwick (kmedwick@nebraskachildren.org)

 

Sixpence Early Learning Fund awards 13 new grants in first round;

will begin accepting second-round applications August 1

The Trustees of the Sixpence Early Learning Fund announced this week that 13 high-quality early childhood programs serving at-risk infants and toddlers across the state will receive grant awards totaling approximately $1.9 million, beginning July 1, 2013.

Sixpence grants are intended to build new early childhood programs, or expand existing services to reach more of the state’s youngest, most vulnerable children. 

“Sixpence is about helping Nebraska’s parents provide safe, stimulating and supportive environments and relationships for their children during the critical early years of life,” said Kathleen Feller, grant administrator for the fund. “It’s especially important for families who face significant challenges in providing those kinds of experiences for their youngest children.”

Sixpence programs address the specific needs of children and families in their own school districts, providing an array of services and resources such as high-quality child care, and specialists who work with individual families to improve parent-child interactions.  

“Sixpence aims to prepare more of Nebraska’s at-risk children to enter the K-12 system on par with their peers, reduce the achievement gap, and improve their chances for lifelong success,” said Roger Breed, who recently retired as Commissioner of the Nebraska Department of Education. 

“Sixpence is an innovative, results-driven model for early childhood development in Nebraska,” said Feller. “It represents a collaboration between the Nebraska Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, and private investors at the state and local level. Our partners and investors demand a high degree of accountability for the dollars we invest.”

Grantees are held to a rigorous evaluation process, and match their grant awards with local funds. Feller noted that approximately $1.8 million in local resources was raised to leverage the $1.9 million disbursed directly as Sixpence grants in the latest awards. 

“Sixpence grantees demonstrate a strong community investment in the development of their youngest children,” said Kerry Winterer, Chief Executive Officer of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “DHHS is emphasizing the use of community-based services to address family circumstances before they become more serious and result in encounters with law enforcement and the courts. The Sixpence program will help to provide critical services early in children’s lives so they have an improved chance in life.”

The following school districts were recipients of the July 2013 Sixpence grant awards:

  • Winnebago Public Schools
  • Crete Public Schools
  • Loup City Public Schools
  • Lincoln Public Schools – Educare
  • Lincoln Public Schools – Cedars
  • Schuyler Public Schools
  • York Public Schools
  • Columbus Public Schools
  • Fremont Public Schools
  • Lexington Public Schools
  • Kearney Public Schools
  • Scottsbluff Public Schools
  • Omaha Public Schools

Sixpence will be accepting applications for a second round of grant awards starting August 1, 2013.  Application details are available at www.singasongofsixpence.org.

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For more information about the Sixpence Early Learning Fund, visit www.singasongofsixpence.org or contact Kathleen M. Feller at kfeller@nebraskachildren.org, or call 402-817-2018.  To arrange interviews, contact Kelly Medwick at kmedwick@nebraskachildren.org or call 402-476-7255.

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation supports children, young adults and families at risk with the overall goal of giving our state's most vulnerable kids what they need to reach their full potential. We do this by building strong communities that support families so their children can grow up to be thriving, productive adults.

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