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Early Childhood Education Community Innovation Zone Grants


 Phase I: 2014 Community Innovation Zone Grant

Providing Pennsylvania’s children with quality early learning experiences is a collaborative effort of families, schools, and communities that can produce a return on investment for all. Supports at the state level are important, but often the most innovative and successful strategies are borne from local collaboration and solutions. The Early Childhood Education Community Innovation Zone Grant Program will offer 50 Community Innovation Grants to at-risk elementary schools and neighborhoods. The first phase of the grants was awarded in 2014 to 12 communities with exemplary innovations in place. 

Over the course of three years, Early Childhood Education Community Innovation Zone Grant recipients will receive intensive supports focused on increasing the use of developmental screenings, implementation of the Kindergarten Entry Inventory, and local grants to strengthen relationships between early childhood providers and schools to build birth – 3rd grade alignment, to increase family supports and engagement, and to strengthen community networks of organizations supporting families. Best and promising practices will be documented and shared with other communities throughout the state. 


2014 Grantee Information

In 2014, Pennsylvania awarded 12 Early Childhood Education Community Innovation Zone Grants to 12 communities to expand local programs that help bridge the achievement gap for at-risk young children. Listed below are fact sheets highlighting the key activities for each grantee: 

Read a short summary of all Phase I grantees (PDF) 

  1. Allegheny County - Pittsburgh Public Schools, serving Pittsburgh Arsenal Elementary School (Pittsburgh Public Schools) - $75,000
  2. Allegheny County - Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children, serving Faison Elementary School (Pittsburgh Public Schools) - $75,000
  3. Chester County - Chester County Intermediate Unit, serving Jordan Bank Elementary School (Oxford Area SD) - $75,000
  4. Dauphin County - The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, serving Downey and Foose elementary schools (Harrisburg SD) - $74,830
  5. Fayette County - Private Industry Council of Westmoreland / Fayette, Inc., serving Masontown Elementary School (Albert-Gallatin Area SD) - $70,287
  6. Greene County - Community Action Southwest, serving Jefferson-Morgan Elementary School (Jefferson-Morgan SD) - $75,000
  7. Lebanon County - Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, serving Northwest Elementary School (Lebanon SD) - $75,000
  8. Luzerne County - Greater Nanticoke Area School District, serving KM Smith and Kennedy elementary schools (Greater Nanticoke Area SD) - $27,738
  9. Montgomery County - Pottstown School District, serving Barth, Franklin, Lincoln, Rupert elementary schools - $75,000
  10. Philadelphia County - Drexel University, serving Alain Locke, McMichael Morton, Samuel Powell, Martha Washington elementary schools (Philadelphia SD) - $74,914
  11. Philadelphia County - Parent Power (What Will You Do With Yours?), serving General George Meade Elementary School (Philadelphia SD) - $73,316
  12. Venango County - Child Development Centers, Inc., serving Hasson Heights Elementary School (Oil City Area SD) - $75,000

In phase I, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) awarded ten Early Childhood Education Community Innovation Zones with grants of up to $75,000 a year for three years. The purpose of the Phase I Early Childhood Education Community Innovation Zone grants, which are funded through the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant, was to recognize, celebrate, learn from, and enhance innovative programs, activities, and strategies involving community-based efforts to enhance the learning outcomes of young children and reduce the student achievement gap by grade 3. For purposes of this grant, community-based is considered to be schools, early childhood and development programs, and local entities interested in supporting children's school success.
Grants were awarded to eligible community organizations that implemented effective practices, took an innovative approach, and fostered a culture focused on enhancing child outcomes within one or more of the following response categories:

Response Category 1: Develop stronger relationships between early childhood programs and school districts to build birth-3rd grade alignment.  
Response Category 2: Increase family supports and engagement.
Response Category 3: Strengthen the network and coordination of community organizations that serve children and families with young children.


Community Innovation Zone Updates 


Community Innovation Zone eNews

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