Children's Futures Grant to Mercer County Community College
Will Fund a Parent Education and Early Literacy Project
Futures has granted $210,000 to Mercer County Community College (MCCC)
to implement the “Parent Education and Early Literary Project”
in Trenton beginning next month.
The grant will enable the college to bring its expertise directly to families
on Saturdays, when faculty members and college students will offer free
workshops for parents and young children at two of Children’s Futures
parent-child development centers.
The goal of the two-year pilot project is to strengthen young Trenton
families through early intervention. The college’s faculty will
help parents gain new insights on parenting their young children. Workshop
topics will include child development and stages of growth, children’s
sensory-motor skills, and social and emotional development. Parents will
learn about positive parent-child interactions through talking, reading
and story telling.
Parents will also get a “preview” of the learning experiences
available through Adult Basic Education/GED programs that Mercer County
Community College offers at eight neighborhood locations in Trenton.
While parents attend the Saturday workshops, their children will be part
of an enrichment program conducted by college students enrolled in an
“Early Literacy Seminar.” Under faculty supervision the college
students will work with the children to foster literacy skills, putting
into practice what they are learning in the classroom. Each Saturday session
will conclude with students interacting with and reading with both parents
According to Children’s Futures Vice President, Melinda Green, the
literacy program has as its framework the nationally recognized publication,
“Building Literacy With Love,” by Betty S. Bardige and Marilyn
M. Segal. “The book is grounded in research and practice in early
childhood development,” she said.
Many of the families expected to participate and benefit from the program
are the clients of social service agencies who are partners with Children’s
Futures. The program will begin in September at the North Ward Center
on Princeton Avenue, operated by The Children’s Home Society of
New Jersey. A second site will be added later in 2006. There is space
available for more participants, so Project Manager Ellen Tully encourages
North Ward parents to call at 609-586-4800 x 6531 or email her at email@example.com.
Children's Futures, a public/private
partnership primarily supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,
is committed to ensuring that every child in Trenton enters preschool
healthy and ready to learn. Children's Futures works with health care
and social service organizations and citizens to provide a comprehensive
approach to early childhood health and development.
Mercer County Community
College is a comprehensive two year college offering 68 associate degree
majors, credit and noncredit certificate programs, customized corporate
training, youth enrichment programs and cultural opportunities.