We know that children’s earliest years are critical to their future success. Millions of children in the U.S. face lives of lost potential as a result of inadequate support from birth to third grade. In fact, more than 80 percent of children in low-income families are not proficient readers by fourth grade, a key predictor of school success and high school graduation. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Last week, The Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania released an updated and expanded version of Invest in a Strong Start: An Early Childhood Toolkit for Donors. The toolkit aims to provide a comprehensive but focused overview of high-impact investment opportunities and strategies for funders interested in early childhood. This new version includes:
- Additional profiles of proven and promising programs, analyzed for their social impact and cost effectiveness;
- An expanded return-on-investment primer that outlines the potential economic return of early childhood investments;
- Additional funder briefs providing background information and resources on topics such as protecting young children from exposure to harmful chemicals and two-generation approaches to ensure a strong start for children;
- Linked blog interviews on various topics with experts on early childhood; and
- Strategies for investing, important background, stakeholders and key players in the early childhood space.
The toolkit identifies a focus on early reading as a highly effective strategy for donors, citing the GLR Campaign’s research. The Campaign is noted as a critical source of information and funder-to-funder connections in early reading. Key GLR partners like Reach Out and Read, Reading is Fundamental and BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) also are identified as high-impact programs.
The GLR Campaign is proud to acknowledge the generous support and leadership of our investors. Alongside 100+ local funders and 1,600+ local organizations, we all are working to improve school and life outcomes for children from low-income families by getting more kids to read proficiently by the end of third grade.