Save the Children’s Early Steps to Success Program received a $5,000 grant to provide early learning and development opportunities for children at Brooks Elementary School in Duncan.  The site currently includes twenty children birth – 3 years and thirty children 3-5 years of age.  The children are participating in activities that are designed to enable them to start school ready to succeed.  Without Early Steps, the children participating are statistically at a much higher risk of starting school behind their peers. The Early Steps Program at Brooks Elementary School, and in all program sites, focuses on delivering professional development and support systems to build the capacity not only of families, but of schools, early childhood staff and communities.  The program equips paraprofessionals to teach, mentor and support parents and other primary caregivers in creating a language and literacy rich environment to produce positive, long-term outcomes for children. 

Early Steps has a four-goal objective:

  • Enable children to enter school with the pre-literacy needed for scholastic success;
  • Provide parents with the skills and knowledge they need to support their children;
  • Build strong home-school connections, which will ensure a smooth transition to school; and
  • Increase early childhood knowledge and skills in the community. 

Funding thorough the Community Foundation was granted through Early Childhood Education Endowment.  “Studies repeatedly show that the most effective investment in education is in the early years”, said Tom Pittman, president of the community foundation. “This program of Save the Children starts at birth, preparing children to learn in a cost-effective manner by involving parents. It is a particularly effective program that the Community Foundation is proud to support”.  (Pittman)

The Foundation manages 133 donor-established funds and has distributed $11.2 million to support 420 charitable organizations and activities recommended by its donors, as well as charitable programs established by the foundation.  Established in 2002 with a generous grant from the Maddox Foundation, the Community Foundation is an independent 501.c.3 charitable organization. The Foundation serves Bolivar, Coahoma, DeSoto, Marshall, Panola, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Tunica counties.  A board of 19 volunteer civic leaders governs the Community Foundation.  Learn more about the Community Foundation at or call 662.449.5002.