Kresge invites applications for $3M in grants tied to early childhood education

Neal Rubin
The Detroit News
Classroom One teacher Yolanda Gutierrez helps Gieovanni Marquez, left, 3, and Diego Hernandez, center, 4, both of Detroit, study on the computer at Detroit’s Matrix Cecil Center, a Head Start program.

The Kresge Foundation announced Thursday that it's inviting applications for $3 million in grants to organizations serving early childhood centers in Detroit.

The grants, paid across three years, are designed to provide wraparound services ranging from healthy eating to arts and culture. The $3 million push is part of Kresge's $25 million commitment to the Hope Starts Here framework, developed with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to improve early childhood education.

In a city with 55,000 children younger than 5, "we simply must improve the overall quality of early childhood programs," said foundation president Rip Rapson. "This is one way to do that."

Eligible organizations need to deliver programming through formal, licensed early childhood centers that are either nonprofits or operate under a college or university. They must operate primarily in Detroit and have existed for at least two years.

Grants will top out at $300,000, with awardees announced in November and distribution beginning in January. The grants can be used in numerous ways, according to Kresge, including staff costs, transportation, building renovation and parental involvement.

A guideline for applications is available at Potential applicants are invited to attend open office hours from 1-5 p.m. July 17 at the Detroit Center for Design and Technology, 4219 Woodward Ave.