Provided by Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William
Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William (SBGPW), a school readiness initiative established to increase kindergarten readiness received a significant grant of $195,000 from the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) on Wednesday, October 28, 2015.
VECF board member, Dr. William C. “Biff” Rees, a pediatrician with Burke Pediatrics presented the grant check to the Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William board of directors. This financial investment supports quality early childhood education and healthy initiatives for young children ages 0 – 5 in Prince William County, the cities of Manassas, and Manassas Park. Prince William County Schools Education Foundation will serve as fiscal agent of the three-year grant.
“We are honored to receive such a generous grant that will support our long-range goals to provide meaningful and enriching early learning opportunities for young children in our region, along with offering many helpful resources for parents and childcare providers,” said Larry Hughes, chair of SBGPW’s Leadership Council. Hughes is the former city manager of Manassas and former deputy county executive of Prince William County.
“Every business needs smart, skilled employees who are well-qualified for 21st century jobs,” said Dalena Kanouse, president and CEO of Management and Training Consultants, Inc. (MTCI), chairwoman of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, as well as a member of the SBGPW board of directors. “ The workforce development pipeline begins with young children who have a strong foundation so they begin school healthy and ready to learn.”
Delegate Scott Lingamfelter attended the presentation and shared, “Early childhood reading skills are vital to a child’s success in elementary school where important foundations are laid for their lifelong learning. I applaud the efforts of Smart Beginnings and fully support their work.”
“Because a child’s experiences in the early years can impact the trajectory of his or her entire life, it’s imperative that all young children have access to quality early learning opportunities so they can reach their full potential in school and in life,” said Dr. Rees. “By advancing school readiness, Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William and its community partners will create a stronger and more educated workforce that is capable of competing in the global economy.”