#NationalWeekoftheYoungChild: James M. Cox Foundation Supports Early Childhood Education

Apr 24, 2017 10:00 AM ET

April 24 - It’s the National Week of the Young Child, and one of the most important things we can do as a society is prepare children for success. The James M. Cox Foundation has a focus on early childhood education and is supporting initiatives and models in Georgia that can provide a national impact.

Here are three recent ways the James M. Cox Foundation has supported early childhood education. Overall, the James M. Cox Foundation has invested more than $14 million in early childhood education initiatives in Metro Atlanta.

Grady Health Foundation:

A $730,000 grant from the Cox Foundation is being used to pilot the Talk With Me Baby program at Grady Health System. Studies show that the fastest brain growth happens during the first three years of life, making it a critical time to introduce language development.

Through the grant, Grady is leveraging its many touch points with expectant and new parents to share video content with tips on building a child's vocabulary. In addition, nurses are receiving special training, so they can educate caregivers on the importance of talking with a baby every day to prepare the children for future success. Parents will be taught about important milestones to monitor a child's language development progress and identify difficulties.

East Lake Foundation:

A $2.5 million grant to the East Lake Foundation is furthering early childhood education through Charles R. Drew Charter School. The program is based in the East Lake community and serves as a research and design site for the Atlanta Speech School’s Cox Campus, which provides free access to research-based professional development courses and e-coaching tools for thousands of early childhood teachers in Georgia and beyond.

Each Pre-K classroom at Drew Charter School is staffed with highly-qualified teachers and features a low student-to-teacher ratio. The instructional and teacher development models have resulted in impressive academic gains for the young students who enter kindergarten ready to learn and are on a path to read by third grade.

Atlanta Speech School:

A $2.8 million grant to the Atlanta Speech School is expanding access to the Cox Campus and providing more learning materials. By removing physical and financial barriers, the Cox Campus provides free, online access to professional development for teachers of children from birth to eight years of age.

Through the grant to the Speech School's Rollins Center for Language and Literacy, the Cox Campus launched two new courses. One helps teachers of infants and toddlers understand brain science and the critical importance of the early learning years. The second provides training on how to help teachers empower parents and other adults to become conversational partners with children from birth onward. This enhances children's "language nutrition" and set them up to be lifelong learners.

The James M. Cox Foundation is named in honor of Cox Enterprises' founder and provides funding for capital campaigns and special projects in communities where the company operates. James M. Cox was Ohio's first three-term governor and the 1920 Democratic nominee for president of the United States.

The Foundation concentrates its community support in several areas, including: conservation and environment; early childhood education; empowering families and individuals for success; and health.