Understanding diversity among young children and applying insights to change professional practice

Ypsilanti, Michigan, August 11, 2015 — The HighScope Educational Research Foundation has been awarded a $385,000 one-year grant by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to create a pilot Professional Learning Community in Ypsilanti, Michigan and Seattle, Washington that is dedicated to diversity, equity, and excellence in education for young children from diverse backgrounds.

Today, communities experience unprecedented degrees of diversity among young children, yet race and family income remain a consistent predictor of children’s opportunities to learn and achieve. In Seattle, Washington, leaders are committed to achieving racial equity, eliminating the legacy of systemic biases that is built into institutions, and investing in learning opportunities for all children.

HighScope is internationally known as a pioneer in providing high-quality education for young children and provides training and development for their parents, caregivers, and teachers. Research shows that its approach to high-quality early learning has positive effects that endure over a lifetime for children born into poverty. Certified HighScope field trainers work closely with preschool and child care practitioners in their communities who are learning how to implement the HighScope Curriculum.

By creating a Professional Learning Community linking the efforts of HighScope and the Seattle early learning initiative, this pilot will break new ground in deeply understanding diversity among young children and applying professional insights to bring about individual and institutional changes in professional practice.

“This important grant supports a framework for a Professional Learning Community that will provide early childhood teachers with professional development in dual language acquisition and cultural responsiveness” said Sue Bredekamp, Chair of the HighScope Board of Directors. “The result will be an organization with the demonstrated commitment and capacity to advance both excellence and equity in education for young children from diverse cultural, linguistic, racial, and economic backgrounds.”

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work, and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the US are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

About HighScope

The HighScope Educational Research Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization, established in 1970, with headquarters in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The Foundation’s principal goals are to promote the learning and development of children worldwide and provide professional development to educators and parents as they help children learn.

HighScope is well-known for the influential HighScope Perry Preschool Study, which first established the lasting human and financial value of high-quality early childhood education for children in poverty. For more information, visit HighScope.org.