First Years First Aids Plainville, Southington

Community Foundation Approves New Funding For Early Childhood Development Initiatives in Plainville, Southington

”First Years First” Grants Continue Foundation’s Commitment to Children, Families

New Britain, Conn. (July 8, 2014) – Early childhood development programming in Plainville and Southington, including Plainville’s pre-kindergarten expansion and Southington’s “Community Plan for Southington’s
Young Children,” are the beneficiaries of nearly $40,000 in new grants from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain.

The funding is part of the Community Foundation’s ongoing “First Years First” early childhood development initiative, the Foundation’s signature focus and funding priority. Since 2006 the Foundation has made a community investment of more $1.36 million in helping to prepare children from the Greater New Britain area for success in school and in life by enhancing their early childhood development experience.

“These grants further the Foundation’s continued efforts to facilitate our communities’ work on behalf of young children and families,” said Jim Williamson, President of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. “Both Southington and Plainville are making tremendous strides in providing high-quality early childhood education experiences and it is our privilege to be a part of their great work.”

Included in the new funding is a $17,285 Capacity-Building/Curriculum Enhancement Grant to expand Plainville’s pre-kindergarten program for 4 year olds to 80 to 90 students in the 2014-2015 school year, more than doubling current levels. The added capacity will target students from high-risk families.

To date, Plainville has approved $200,000 in added classrooms and extended the pre-K program from four half-day sessions to five full-day sessions. The Community Foundation’s Director of Program, Joeline Wruck, served on the Plainville committee which designed the expansion.

Community Foundation funds will be used to purchase materials for one classroom and to support program-wide curriculum development.

In Southington, the Foundation approved a $20,000 grant that will help enable the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington to move to the next phase of its Community Plan for Young Children, first unveiled in late May. Along with $50,000 from the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund and another $5,000 from the Southington Board of Education, the grant will elevate part-time coordinator Dr. Mary Yuskis to the full-time positon of Director and also begin the process of implementing the Plan’s recommendations.

Established in 1941, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain connects donors who care with causes that matter in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. It does this by raising resources and developing partnerships that make a measurable improvement in the quality of life in each of these communities. For more information, visit