McCormick Foundation Awards $5 Million in Grants

The Chicago-based McCormick Foundation has announced grants of nearly $5 million to seventeen organizations working to improve early care and education for at-risk children in Illinois.

The grants signal an expanded focus for the foundation on building a statewide early care and education system for all children up to the age of 8, with increased emphasis on principal preparation, improving early math curricula, meeting quality standards, and securing adequate funding.

Recipients include the Erikson Institute, which was awarded $450,000 to adapt its early math professional development program to a curriculum that community colleges can apply to early childhood teaching candidates; Illinois State University, which received $330,000 to help higher education institutions maintain educational quality as they redesign their programs to meet new certification criteria; the Latino Policy Forum, which was awarded $320,000 to focus on the needs of the state's growing Latino population; and Sesame Workshop, which received $180,000 to support the development and implementation of a child resiliency initiative designed to help children between the ages of 2 and 8 cope with stress and trauma.

"Illinois is a leader in early care and education and these grants will help Illinois sustain that work," said Sara Slaughter, the foundation's education program director. "These grants focus on principal preparation programs as Illinois moves to become the first state to have a pre-K-12 certification for principals. The grants also continue to improve state policy and move us closer to achieving a system of quality early care and education for children from birth to third grade in the state of Illinois."

For a complete list of grants, visit the McCormick Foundation Web site.

"Robert R. McCormick Foundation Invests Nearly $5 Million in Early Education." McCormick Foundation Press Release 06/29/2011.