The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain connects donors who care with causes that matter in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. If you'd like to make a difference in your community, please contact us for more information.

First Years First - Our Primary Funding Priority

In the Community Foundation’s estimation, there is perhaps no more significant challenge facing our communities than ensuring that children are equipped to lead healthy, productive lives. That’s why, as part of its role as a proactive community partner – a catalyst for change – the Community Foundation created First Years First in 2005, a five-seven year $1 million funding commitment to prepare the children of Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington for success in school and in life by enhancing their early childhood development experience.

Creating Partnerships
First Years First works to ensure that children in its four-town service area are afforded the advantages and opportunities that come with a healthy start. This commitment has supported the efforts of the New Britain Early Childhood Collaborative to double the percentage of children participating in pre-K programs from 38% to its present level of 79%, a goal it accomplished in 7 years. The Collaborative’s September 2010 Kickoff of a new city-wide Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is further endorsement of the high quality of its work. First Years First is also supporting other local grassroots efforts, including the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington and its new Family Resource Center, in partnership with the Southington Public Schools. 

These programs have received significant financial support from funders such as the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, American Savings Foundation, United Way of Northeastern & Central CT, the Community Chest of New Britain and Berlin, and the Southington Public Schools.  Together we bring local schools, parents, concerned citizens, and home and center-based day care providers together to collaborate on ways to enhance high-quality early childhood education, improve programming and increase enrollments.  Our Goal is to assure that five-year olds in our area arrive at the first day of Kindergarten “Ready to Learn!”

Training Teachers & Enhancing Curriculum
A third First Years First initiative is our partnership with Tunxis Community College’s Early Childhood Education Program to create the Early Childhood Professional Educators' Consortium for early care professionals.  This regional Consortium gives providers the opportunity to network and share ideas; adopt research-based curricula that improve and standardize the early childhood development experience; and provide professional development so that center-based and home providers may enhance the school-readiness outcomes of their programs.

Fostering Family Literacy
Finally, together with Literacy Volunteers of Central Connecticut and the Christine E. Moser Foundation, First Years First has helped launch a project to address emergent and family literacy within the region.  Now in its second year, the Central Connecticut Family Literacy Initiative seeks to expand literacy programs reaching low literate families, link those programs with other related community efforts for greater efficiency & effectiveness, and create innovative solutions to the issue of low literacy among parents and its effect on school readiness among children.

74A Vine Street | New Britain, CT 06052 | 860.229.6018 | Contact Us
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74A Vine Street | New Britain, CT 06052 | 860.229.6018 | Contact Us
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