Posted on August 24, 2004
William Caspar Graustein
PND On the Web (08/24/04) -- Discovery Initiative/William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund
To improve the lives of young children in Connecticut from birth through age eight.
Since 2001, the primary focus of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund has been the Discovery Initiative, which it will support through 2007 with grants totaling $15 million. Initially, mayors and school superintendents from fifty communities throughout the state were invited to join the initiative. Forty-nine cities and towns accepted. They represent over half of the student population in Connecticut, with high proportions of the state's poor and populations of color. The participating communities receive a grant of between $10,000 and $50,000 a year $25,000 average and other support in the form of documentation, peer networking, learning seminars, technical assistance consultation, and community liaisons. The initiative emphasizes collaboration, community involvement, and parent engagement. It has four objectives: to expand the supply of high-quality early care and education; to improve the quality of early care and education; to build strong connections between early care and elementary education; and to improve social, emotional, and academic outcomes for young children. To supplement the Discovery Initiative, the fund also invites statewide and regional organizations to apply for grants to support policy research, advocacy, data analysis, constituency building, and the expansion or improvement of early childhood education facilities.
Since its founding in August 1993 as a memorial to a college professor who was the son of immigrants, the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund has supported the improvement of education for young children in Connecticut.
The most useful part of the Discovery Initiative Web site is the research and tools section, which has eight divisions: parent and community engagement, data and information gathering, communications, early childhood care and education, transition to kindergarten, student achievement, and leveraging resources. Each subject area contains downloadable papers, reports, guides, manuals, fact sheets, articles, and other tools. The most recent additions are flagged "New." This information is helpful to educators, parents, service providers, and policy makers, whether or not they are based in Connecticut. This section reinforces one of the fund's core beliefs: Quality research and information exchange can help to change public policy and educational practices when change is needed.
Executive Director: David M. Nee
One Hamden Center
2319 Whitney Avenue, Suite 2B
Tel: (203) 230-3330
Fax: (203) 230-3331