Kresge and Kellogg Foundations Join Forces to Boost Early Childhood Education in Detroit

“Early childhood is a big missing piece” in Detroit, says major foundations.

Sascha Raiyn/WDET

There are a few major foundations that work toward bettering life, well-being, and business in our region through grants and initiatives.

It’s broad, big-idea work that aims at long-term goals, with progress that often can’t be measured with short-term metrics. They’re well financed organizations that help shape who we will be as a regional community.

Two of those organizations are the Kresge Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Kresge’s work focuses on creating opportunities for people living in cities, and Kellogg focuses on creating better educational and life opportunities for children.

These two organizations are currently collaborating on making Detroit a “kid-supportive” city by 2025. What would that mean? And what would have to happen to make the city better for all current and future kids of Detroit?

With the “Hope Starts Here” partnership, Kresge and Kellogg want to ensure every kid in Detroit has access to early childhood education from age three to five.

La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of Kellogg, tells Detroit Today that three out of every eight children age five and under don’t have access to early childhood education in the city. 

“What we believe is that it puts the child on the best course if they have many developmental opportunities from birth to kindergarten,” says Montgomery Tabron.

 “Just like any intervention, it’s not the sole solution,” says Rip Rapson, president and CEO of Kresge.

Rapson says every kid needs a safe  and healthy home, access to good transportation, and access to reliable city services, among other things in a city like Detroit. But, he says, quality education for the very young is critical element to long-term success. 

“Early childhood is a big missing piece.”

To hear more from Rapson and Montgomery Tabron on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above. 


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