Children First Initiative
The Children First Initiative, in 1994 to 2000, was based on the premise that the engagement of parents and other stakeholders can create and sustain the community conditions that foster school readiness for all children. Seven Children First communities – Hartford, Windham, Meriden, Danbury, Norwich, New London and Middletown – worked tirelessly to achieve substantial gains with respect to their local action plans and to systematically build on their abilities to realize distinct community visions all focused on improving education and life outcomes for children.
Policy Research and Advocacy Grants
The Memorial Fund, interested in raising the level and quality of public debate on matters affecting children in Connecticut, gave grants in 1994 to 2001 for policy research, public education campaigns on important issues, advocacy, and for the creation of collaborations among nonprofit organizations and public agencies.
Community Engagement and Parental Involvement Grants
At the core of the Memorial Fund’s work has been the understanding that the active involvement of parents and the community in education is a known predictor of children’s future success. In 1994 to 2001, the Memorial Fund made grants to Connecticut communities and organizations to support locally based initiatives to strengthen the involvement of communities, parents and children in schools and education.
Opportunity Fund Grants
This program responded to innovative ideas in education that reflected the Memorial Fund’s mission and goals. Opportunity Fund Grants were offered from 2000 to 2003. Broad in scope, this funding targeted those issues where new knowledge was needed or where new voices could be amplified.