The grants will be used to assist 34 non-profit organizations and governmental entities with funding for area projects.
The largest grant this round was awarded to the Green Hills Area Education Agency for preschool programs in school districts located in Pottawattamie County, Iowa.
The $1.1 million grant ensures that four year-olds with the most at-risk factors for possible school failure will have the opportunity to get a quality early childhood education.
“An overarching goal of the Iowa West Foundation is to increase educational attainment in our area,” said Pete Tulipana, Iowa West President and CEO, “and quality preschool is an early step to help children get on a successful educational tract.”
“It’s extremely important to keep public preschools in Pottawattamie County at a quality level,” stated Dr. Lane Plugge, administrator of Green Hills Area Education Agency which coordinates the county program. “We appreciate Iowa West’s continued leveraging of our other funding to assist the most at-risk preschoolers,” he added.
The $1.1 million grant brings the Iowa West Foundation’s total support of the Pottawattamie County Preschool Initiative to $11.6 million since inception of the initiative in the 2003-2004 school year.
In 2010, the Foundation commissioned national expert Dr. Susan Hegland of Iowa State University to evaluate the program, and it showed the children as “having significant gains in academic achievements.”