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White House Initiative Releases New Early Learning Toolkit for Faith-Based and Community Leaders

The free Toolkit is a comprehensive guide to support faith-based and community leaders in expanding or initiating early learning programming for young children and their families and is available online at http://sites.ed.gov/whieeaa/resources/


The Toolkit connects faith-based and community leaders with evidence-based practices, resources, action steps and ideas to launch and enhance initiatives that support educational opportunities for African American children to succeed personally and academically through early learning. It was produced in partnership with NBCDI and the U.S. Department of Education’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Highlighted topics include early learning at home and empowering families to advocate for children’s education. Also included is a call to action to purge the school to prison pipeline. 


“A cornerstone of our work at the National Black Child Development Institute is to equip parents, caregivers, and communities to advocate on behalf of their children and families,” says Tobeka G. Green, National Black Child Development Institute President and CEO. “As a part of our commitment to education and advocacy, we develop and deliver strengths-based, culturally-relevant, evidence-based, and trauma-informed tools and resources to prepare communities to influence necessary change for equitable systems that support our children and families. Our partnership with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans to create the Faith and Families Toolkit further equips what has historically been the key advocacy group in the Black community—our faith-based organizations and leaders—to be a central part of the fight for equitable education.” 

“Early learning opportunities begin long before Kindergarten. We can ensure all African American children are on the pathway to academic excellence by ensuring all have access to high-quality early learning and developmental opportunities beginning before birth,” said David Johns, executive director of the Initiative. “This Toolkit highlights resources to help young African American children and families, resources and information that should prove useful to all young children and families,” he explained. 


The Faith-Based and Community Leaders Early Learning Toolkit is available on the Initiative’s website at http://sites.ed.gov/whieeaa/resources/. Faith-based and community leaders are encouraged to share pictures, videos and recommendations from their early learning programs with the Initiative by emailing WHIEEAA@ed.gov. 


About the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans 

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans (Initiative) was established by Executive Order by President Obama in 2012, who sought to strengthen the nation by improving educational outcomes for African Americans of all ages. The Initiative advocates for equal educational opportunities for African Americans from birth through college completion and career entry and highlights promising and proven practices to support African American students; and on supporting parents, teachers, and other caring and concerned adults to best support the learning and development of African Americans. To learn more about the Initiative, visit http://sites.ed.gov/whieeaa/


About NBCDI 


For 46 years, the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) has been at the forefront of engaging leaders, policymakers, professionals, and parents around critical and timely issues that directly impact Black children and families. NBCDI delivers high- quality resources that respond to the unique strengths and needs of Black children around issues including early childhood education, health and wellness, child welfare, literacy, and family engagement. NBCDI’s volunteer-driven National Affiliate Network operates in communities across the country, partnering with children, families and other organizations to implement culturally-relevant, culturally-responsive, trauma-sensitive and evidence-based programs. For more information on NBCDI, visit www.nbcdi.org.