Rhode Island KIDS COUNT - News, Research and Policy Information
January 5, 2012
RI Wins $50 Million Early Learning Challenge Grant
RTTT-ELC kids singing

On Monday December 19th, elected officials joined early childhood and community leaders at CCRI Providence to celebrate the news that Rhode Island won a $50 million Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant. Rhode Island was one of nine states awarded this competitive grant, from a field of 37 states that applied. The celebration event was held at the site of one of Rhode Island's state Pre-K Program classrooms run by Ready to Learn Providence.  A song by the four-year-old pre-k children was a great reminder of what the early learning challenge grant is all about.

The grant will be used to increase the quality of early learning and development programs for Rhode Island's young children and will help to close the achievement gap by focusing on four key strategies:

  • Developing high quality, accountable early learning and development programs
  • Promoting positive early learning and development outcomes for young children across all domains of school readiness
  • Building a great early-childhood workforce
  • Measuring outcomes and progress  

The Rhode Island Early Learning Council, Co-Chaired by Elizabeth Burke Bryant and Commissioner Deborah Gist provided leadership for the development of the $50 million grant proposal. Seventy-three letters of support from the Governor, the entire Congressional Delegation, the Speaker, the Senate President, the Chairman of the Board of Regents, the Directors of DHS, DCYF, and Health, the Presidents of the Rhode Island Foundation and the United Way, the Presidents of all of Rhode Island's public colleges and universities, and early childhood leaders from across the state demonstrated the tremendous public-private partnership that has resulted in this victory.

Click to read Providence Journal articles from December 17 and December 20, watch news coverage from WJAR, WLNE and WPRI, view the photo gallery of the celebration/news conference or watch Capitol TV's broadcast.

BrightStars Featured on Rhode Island KIDS COUNT TV Show 
RIKC TV Show BrightStars
Chris Amirault, President of the RIAEYC, and Tammy Camillo, Director of the RIAEYC and BrightStars, joined Elizabeth Burke Bryant for December's edition of the Rhode Island KIDS COUNT TV Show.

They discussed the importance of BrightStars, Rhode Island's quality rating system for early childhood programs. Click to watch the program.
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In This Issue
starRI Wins $50 Million Early Learning Challenge Grant
starBrightStars Featured on Rhode Island KIDS COUNT TV Show
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Rhode Island KIDS COUNT works to improve the health, education, safety, economic security and development of Rhode Island's children.