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The San Diego Foundation partnered with Dr. Seuss Foundation to promote early literacy with $1 million in grants to local nonprofit organizations that support the youngest residents and their families to prepare for academic success and lifelong learning. 

The 2022 Early Childhood Initiative Equitable Opportunities Grant supports nonprofit organizations that implement strategic efforts to build regional resilience by increasing equitable access to high-quality, affordable early education and support services for children ages 0-5, and their caretakers. Nonprofit organizations are invited to apply through 2:00 p.m., Friday, May 6, at, where maximum awards will range between $75,000 and $100,000. 

“The Dr. Seuss Foundation is committed to improving literacy and learning, and through this partnership, we are focused on ensuring young children have access to learning opportunities that build the foundation for lifelong success,” said Jay Hill, Executive Director of the Dr. Seuss Foundation.

The partnership between the foundations has enabled the expansion of this year’s Early Childhood Initiative grant, which focuses on supporting early grade-level readiness and access to opportunity by ensuring a foundation for literacy in the earliest years. 

Previous Early Childhood initiative grants aimed to increase access to quality, affordable early education and care through service expansions, improved access to early intervention and behavioral health supports, and resources for disproportionately impacted children and families. 

The foundation’s partnership draws a connection between educational readiness, social determinants of health, considering whole family health, financial security, and access to supportive services in the approach to early literacy, and educational readiness. 

According to research, patterns of learning in preschool are closely linked to success later in life. Children who develop more skills in the preschool years perform better in the primary grades, particularly in literacy.  A report from the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress shows that in San Diego County, about 72 percent of economically disadvantaged 3rd graders did not meet language and literacy standards in 2020-2021. 

In addition to early literacy, the Early Childhood Initiative Equitable Opportunities Grant will fund projects focusing on early education service expansions, instructional quality improvements and educational staff support, healthy, equitable starts for children and new parents, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) prevention and intervention. 

The San Diego Foundation will host an optional Q&A webinar for interested nonprofit organizations at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 6, and asks interested parties to register online.

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