FWCS Receives $1 Million Grant for New Development

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Record Number: 19620
Displayed from: Dec 19, 2022 , until: Feb 19, 2023

Indiana University Health Foundation presented a $1 million grant to the Fort Wayne Community Schools Foundation on Monday, Dec. 19. The money will be used for the development of a new childcare and early learning center in the district.

The fully-subsidized facility will support young parents in high school. It will also serve as a training facility for students interested in careers in childcare and early childhood education.

“One of the greatest barriers to teen parents completing school is the ability to find and afford high quality childcare,” FWCS Superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel said. “We know that if we can provide this resource, young parents are more likely to stay in school and become employable after graduation. By having their children in this program, they will receive a strong educational foundation prior to starting kindergarten.”

The proposed center will provide childcare and educational services for up to 118 children ages 0-5. Head Start and Early Head Start, a program of Brightpoint, will operate the early learning program at the center. Other founding partners include Lutheran Social Services, which offers the ECHO program supporting young parents, and the Early Childhood Alliance, which will play a key role in expanding the pipeline for the development for early learning professionals.

FWCS Foundation President Tom Trent said there is a need for additional high-quality childcare in the community.

“We are excited to have been awarded this grant,” he said. “It is a great first step in making this childcare center a reality for Fort Wayne Community Schools.”

The grant was awarded from the Community Impact Investment Fund (CIIF), which is administered by the IU Health Foundation to address key social and environmental factors that heavily affect people’s health outcomes.

“Improving health outcomes is vital to the state’s future, and we are hopeful targeted grant-giving and the commitment of our community partners will make a meaningful difference,” said IU Health President and CEO Dennis Murphy.

The CIIF grant is the initial money raised for the proposed FWCS childcare facility. The additional money needed to complete the project will be raised through private fundraising efforts.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.