Wednesday, November 30th and Thursday, December 1st representatives from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative (ELNC) from Grand Rapids, MI visited AVANCE program sites and discussed an opportunity to establish the AVANCE PCEP in the Grand Rapids area. The visit provided an opportunity for increased communication between like organizations and laid the foundation for future collaboration. “Coming to AVANCE and seeing one of the best approaches in parent-child interaction was very powerful for me. We got to see the parents do toy making which was very exciting, and also saw the children were very happy and engaged in learning as well. We hope the ELNC can bring this program back to Grand Rapids.” said Dr. Nkechy Ezeh, Executive Director of the ELNC.
Existing AVANCE partners (ASPIRA of Florida, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, NIEER and Ready by Five Partnership for Early Learning) also traveled to San Antonio the same week. They visited AVANCE-San Antonio’s Carmen Cortez and Fenley Centers to experience AVANCE’s PCEP in action. While on location, the partners had an opportunity to observe the 3 hour AVANCE parenting component that includes toy-making, parenting lessons and a community speaker. “Site visits are so helpful to our new partners. We are proud to have AVANCE-San Antonio serve as a benchmark for what is expected of all our new partners. When our partners actually view the program in operation many of the questions they have get answered “, explained Sylvia Soriano, AVANCE Lead Training Specialist.
In 2010, this San Antonio based nonprofit servicing families with children 0-3, was able to secure the largest grant in their history with a generous $12.6 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The grant created the UAPP and aims to research the adaptability of the AVANCE PCEP in different ethnic communities as well as expand the AVANCE PCEP into 12 new Hispanic communities. AVANCE is entering into re-grant agreements to implement the AVANCE PCEP with 4 similar organizations per year, for 3 years, and is currently accepting proposals. Andrew Brower, W.K. Kellogg Foundation Associate Program Officer, describes his experiences “It’s been a pleasure to travel here with representatives from the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative in Grand Rapids and see that special sauce that makes AVANCE what it is, so we can try to bring that to Grand Rapids and serve our families with high quality programming.”
Since 1973, AVANCE has been dedicated to providing innovative education and family support services to predominantly Hispanic families in low-income, high-need communities. The organization’
Richard J. Noriega, AVANCE President and CEO, shared his thought on the visit, “We were thrilled to again have Kellogg as our guest and host the ELNC along with our other partners. The support we have received from Kellogg is truly remarkable. One of AVANCE’s goals is to establish at least 15 new sites across the U.S. by 2015 and today we are on pace to meet and exceed that number.”
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Unlocking America’s potential by strengthening families in at-risk communities through effective parent education and support programs. AVANCE is one of the odlest and most distingusished parenting-early chilhood programs in the the country.