Scottdale Early Learning receives $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to address census underreporting of young children in central DeKalb County

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SCOTTDALE, GAScottdale Early Learning, Inc. (SEL), an early care and educational organization serving low and moderate income families in DeKalb County, has received a $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to address Census underreporting of children under the age of five in Central DeKalb County.  SEL will work in partnership with CDF Action (formerly Clarkston Development Foundation) to reach out to refugee families, immigrants and African-Americans to educate them about the need for accurate census reporting, and to dispel myths and answer questions about the Census.  The education effort will begin in January 2020 and is expected to conclude at the end of the year.

“According to the Urban Institute, Georgia has one of the highest Census undercounts of children under age five in the country,” said Maryum Gibson, president and CEO of Scottdale Early Learning.  “Accurate reporting is extremely important, since Census figures are used to determine federal funding for schools, hospitals and roads, among other government programs and projects.  Here in DeKalb, we recently used Census data to determine the ideal location for SEL’s second location, which we recently opened to service additional infants and young children, along with their families.”

According to Gibson, some central DeKalb residents, especially immigrants and refugees, might have language and literacy barriers to correctly filling out the Census form.  Clarkston, Ga. has one of the highest percentages of refugee families in the country, and is known as the most diverse square mile in the U.S.  Others might fear the government or be unclear on how the data will be used.  Gibson says communication is the key.

“We will use the grant to train and support leadership and staff of early learning programs, including child care centers, school-based Pre-K programs, Head Start, family child care learning homes, family literacy programs and home visiting services,” said Gibson.  “We will help them develop their own Census Counts plan by including Census information in regular scheduled activities like parent meetings, conferences, special events, and more.  These early learning programs are known and trusted by local families, and they often have staff members who can communicate with international families in their native languages.  We will also identify appropriate festivals and events at local apartment communities and libraries and train volunteers to disseminate information in various languages about the Census and its importance.”

About Scottdale Early Learning, Inc. (SEL)

Founded in 1977 in DeKalb County’s historic Scottdale community, Scottdale Early Learning, Inc. (formerly Scottdale Child Development and Family Resource Center) is a 501(c)3 early care and educational organization serving low and moderate income families.  Its mission is to provide early education that fosters the intellectual, creative, social, emotional, and physical development of its students age 6 weeks to 5 years old.  SEL mitigates socioeconomic disadvantages through high-quality education, family involvement and community engagement, ensuring that all SEL students are ready for kindergarten.  Scottdale is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals.  The organization’s original facility is located at 479 Warren Ave. in Scottdale, and a second location is scheduled to open in late fall 2019 at 2939 Midway Road in Decatur.  For more information, visit www.scottdale.org.

About CDF Action, Inc.

CDF Action (Previously Clarkston Development Foundation) was founded in 2010 and is a member of the Clarkston Census Count Committee.  The organization engages Clarkston residents and partners to craft innovative, culturally sound, community-driven education initiatives that build on community assets.  Its mission is to transform education so that all of Clarkston’s children and youth will be nurtured, supported and prepared to learn.  CDF Action believes relationships matter and residents will support what they help create.  CDF Action partners with Scottdale Early Learning on a variety of programs, including the READY Schools, a free part-day, multi-lingual early learning and family engagement program for children age 3-4.

About the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Since 1951, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been connecting the passions of philanthropists with the purposes of nonprofits doing that work. With nearly 70 years serving the 23-county Atlanta region and a robust team of experts, the Community Foundation leads and inspires philanthropy to increase the vitality of our region and the well-being of all residents, empowering our donors to focus on the joy of giving. The Community Foundation is a top-20 community foundation, among 750 nationally, with more than $1 billion in current assets and is Georgia’s second largest foundation. Through its quality donor services and bold, innovative leadership on community issues, the Foundation received more than $162 million from donors in 2018 and distributed more than $128 million that same year to support nonprofits throughout the region and beyond. In 2018 Charity Navigator named the Community Foundation a four-star rated nonprofit, its top distinction, putting the Foundation among the top 10 highest-rated community foundations. For more information, visit: cfgreateratlanta.org.

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