The goals of our investment in early childhood development are: (1) More children in Spartanburg County, SC will enter school “ready to learn” and (2) Fewer adolescents in Spartanburg County, SC will experience an unintended pregnancy. To achieve our goals, we invest in Programs & Services; Policies & Places; and Planning & Capacity Building.
The Foundation has three applications for early childhood development grants. Please read each description carefully and select the application that best fits your organization’s proposal. NOTE: Clicking on one of the links below will create a NEW application. If you have already started an application, please refer to the Welcome email you received from the Mary Black Foundation to access the existing application.
1. Programs & Services provide direct assistance, social support, resources, and information to children and teens and their families or to those who work with them.
The results we seek are (1) an increase in the number of children who are assessed as “ready for school” when entering kindergarten and (2) a decrease in the number of adolescent pregnancies. We give priority to projects that:
- Use “science-based” approaches or innovative strategies that are grounded in research.
- Target people at high risk for poor health and poor social outcomes.
- Are of sufficient duration and intensity to make a difference in the lives of the participants.
- Clearly identify ways to track the success of their participants.
2. Policies & Places refer to the environmental conditions that affect early childhood development and adolescent pregnancy. For example, a new policy can lead to improved standards for child development centers that result in more enriching environments or change how comprehensive health education is taught leading to less risky behavior among youth. Likewise, creating new or improving existing places that provide quality early care and education or reproductive health services for teens will directly affect school readiness and adolescent pregnancies, respectively.
The results we seek are (1) the presence of more specific policies that provide resources (quality standards, money, political will, media coverage, etc.) for early childhood development and adolescent pregnancy prevention (2) more places created or improved that provide (a) quality care and education for young children, (b) services and information for adolescents about reproductive health, or (c) support services to families with young children and adolescents. We give priority to projects that:
- Clearly demonstrate sufficient community support to achieve the change in policy or place.
- Clearly demonstrate the impact that the change in policy or place will have on school readiness or adolescent pregnancy.
3. Planning & Capacity Building for organizations that have as part of their core missions the improvement of early childhood development or the reduction of adolescent pregnancy. Investments in this area strengthen the organizations we fund so that they can achieve and sustain stronger results.
We give priority to projects that:
- Clearly demonstrate how an investment in planning or capacity building will strengthen the ability of the organization to improve early childhood development or reduce adolescent pregnancy.