Stateline Midwest: Kresge, Kellogg Commit $50 Million To Early Childhood in Detroit

The Imprint’s rundown of child welfare and youth-related news from across the Midwest. 

Two major Michigan grantmakers announced a $50 million investment in a venture to improve the educational and health outcomes for young children in Detroit.

The Hope Starts Here Community Framework will be backed by $25 million commitments by the Battle Creek-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Troy-based Kresge Foundation. The city has not yet allocated money to the venture.

“Detroit must aspire to be a city that puts children first,” said Kresge CEO Rip Rapson, in a statement announcing the funding. “Hope Starts Here is a powerful first step in that direction.”

The goal is to increase access to affordable health services, childcare and education for Detroit children. The framework for Hope Starts Here was developed with the input of about 18,000 citizens of the city, through a citywide parent survey and 125 listening sessions, and guided by a 23-member board. Click here to read the full framework.

According to the announcement of the foundation support for Hope Starts Here, the early phases for the initiative will include the development of an early childhood advocacy network and a slate of small “Community Connections” grants to fund “neighborhood-level projects.”

Long-term goals for the foundation’s commitments include the establishment of early childhood networks, along with professional learning networks, and the upgrading of facilities to assist families.

Kellogg and Kresge will also match donor dollars contributed to the initiative through the United Way Text to Give Program.

Approximately 80,000 children live in Detroit, according to the initiative, and more than 60 percent of kids between 0 and 5 live in poverty. Of those who are eligible for early learning programs, 30,000 have no program option available to them.

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