BRIDGEPORT RECEIVES $150,000 THROUGH GRANT PROGRAM BY NATIONAL NONPROFIT STRIVETOGETHER TO IMPROVE RESULTS AT MAJOR MILESTONES FOR KIDS
Bridgeport Prospers one of 21 cradle-to-career partnerships that will advance equity and spread bold strategies
to help children and families access opportunity and move up the economic ladder
BRIDGEPORT, CT —Bridgeport Prospers, a local collective impact movement, has received $150,000 from StriveTogether, a national nonprofit working to bring communities together around data to make decisions and improve results for kids. Bridgeport Prospers will use this grant to advance the Baby Bundle, a group of supports for children from birth to 3 years old (and their caregivers) to ensure their good health, well-being and developmental success.
The award is part of StriveTogether’s Cradle to Career Community Challenge, which seeks to create local change to enable economic mobility. The program’s goal is to strengthen and align the many systems, such as education, employment, health and housing, that shape opportunity for children and families in America.
“We are humbled and honored that StriveTogether has recognized the promise of focusing on early years by funding our birth to three initiative,” commented Allison Logan, Executive Director of Bridgeport Prospers. “Science tells us that the first three years of life are the most crucial for a child’s ability to grow and thrive, since they lay the foundation for all social, physical and cognitive development.”
The Baby Bundle assumes that no single action or intervention will produce a broad, sustainable impact. Instead, real change requires a “bundle” of actions, both evidence-based, and innovative and light touch. These include:
- Expanding caregiver supports such as universal home visiting, a developmental screening mobile application called Sparkler, the city-wide launch of the Bridgeport Basics parenting practices, and expansion of early literacy programs like Read to Grow and Reach Out and Read in obstetric and pediatric offices;
- Identifying at-need children and families early and providing supports through integrating individual data systems in key sectors (e.g., health and education);
- Launching the Bridgeport Resilience Project to increase trauma-informed care in the community.
The Bridgeport Prospers approach involves multiple initiatives and multiple stakeholders. To date, partners range from local providers in healthcare, education and support services, to state-wide agencies such as the Connecticut Department of Social Services and the Office of Early Childhood. Bridgeport Prospers is moving forward to engage additional partners – such as pediatricians, obstetricians and faith leaders – in the work.
“Through these actions and collaborations, we seek to ensure that all Bridgeport children are happy, healthy and ready for preschool at age 3,” Logan said.
Bridgeport Prospers has been awarded a grant from the Community Challenge’s Promising Practices Fund, which is intended to find local projects applying bold strategies that can be spread across StriveTogether’s national network. These projects will focus on deeper community engagement and align education with other sectors such as health, housing and transportation. Eleven community-based organizations were awarded grants of up to $150,000 for one year.
Through the Community Challenge, up to $7 million over the next three years will fund projects across the country that advance equity and spread bold strategies to help students progress from kindergarten to postsecondary completion and a job. During this round of grants, 10 communities also were selected for the Accelerator Fund. Communities in the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network were eligible to apply for the Community Challenge.
“StriveTogether launched the Cradle to Career Community Challenge because we refuse to settle for a world in which a child’s ability to thrive is dictated by factors like race or income,” StriveTogether President and CEO Jennifer Blatz said. “From partners across the country, we know the urgency of this work and the value of creating lasting change in communities. We are proud to start this year supporting 21 cradle-to-career partnerships to get real results for youth and families.”
Bridgeport Prospers receives backbone funding from the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County.