Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington Receives Funding from Stocker Foundation

Posted on May 13th, 2022

This press release was issued May 12, 2022.

Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington Receives Funding from Stocker Foundation

The Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington (ECCS) recently received funding from The Stocker Foundation.

This grant supports the ECCS’ Developing Early Literacy and Kindergarten Readiness in Southington’s Young Children program during the 2022-2023 school year. The initiatives for this program funded through the grant include (1) promoting early literacy skills and the importance of reading to your child through the “1000 Books before Kindergarten” Reading Program, (2) promoting preschool registration and participation in enrichment programs, (3) promoting on-time kindergarten registration, (4) hosting a kindergarten readiness educational workshop for parents and childcare providers, (5) providing books and math manipulative kits to all incoming Southington Public School kindergarten students, (6) being a resource for parents who have questions about Pre-K and kindergarten options and the registration process.

When asked about the larger than expected grant award, Patricia O’Brien, Executive Director of The Stocker Foundation, said, “it is extremely rare for a grantee organization to receive more than requested. However, in this particular case, the Board felt certain with ECCS’ track-record of excellence, providing additional support would allow the organization to serve more young children with critical emerging literacy and kindergarten readiness programming. We look forward to continuing the partnership with ECCS.”

“We are grateful The Stocker Foundation recognizes the importance of supporting the Town’s youngest citizens and the work that we do,” said Joanne Kelleher, Director of the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington. “The ECCS’s mission is that ‘All children are healthy and ready to learn.’ This funding contributes to the educational aspect of our mission, helping parents to prepare their children to be successful in kindergarten and beyond.”

The National Institute for Family Literacy discovered that 3-5 year olds who had been read to at least three times per week were two times more likely to recognize all letters, have sight-word recognition, and understand words in context. These findings show that in addition to reading, books assist with a child’s ability to communicate. Early literacy is the natural development of skills through the sharing of books, the importance of positive interactions between babies and parents/caregivers, and the critical role of literacy-rich experiences.

Through this grant the ECCS will work closely with the administrators at the Southington Public School district. In addition to reaching out to the parents/guardians on social media and via the healthcare and childcare providers in town, efforts will be made to coordinate with social service agencies such as the Southington Public Library, Family Resource Center, STEPS (Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success), Youth Services, Community Services and Bread for Life to reach families who are not involved with any formal pre-K programs.

About the Stocker Foundation

The Stocker Foundation was established by the late Beth K. Stocker in 1979 as a way to formalize the philianthropy of her and her huband, Paul Stocker. The Stocker Grant aims to lessen the reading achievement gap for under-resourced prekindergarten through third grade public school students.

About the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington

The Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington is a group of committed educators, parents, grandparents, healthcare and childcare providers, business owners, civic organizations and members of the community who are deeply invested in the growth, development and academic success of young children in Southington. The Collaborative’s mission is that “all Southington children will enter school ready to learn.” ECCS is dedicated to three goals: 1) Advocating for high quality preschool and childcare; 2) Empowering parents and families through workshops and educational programs; and 3) Being a wide ranging resource for community members on the subject of early childhood care and education. The Collaborative receives operating support from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain which also acts as its fiscal sponsor. For more information on the Collaborative, contact Joanne Kelleher, Director, at southingtonearlychildhood@gmail.com or visit www.southingtonearlychildhood.org.



Joanne C. Kelleher


Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington