Bruening Awards Two Strong Start Grants


In May the Bruening Foundation awarded two Strong Start proactive grants to programs that promote early learning for young children:


  • $285,000 (over 3 years) was awarded to Reach Out and Read Greater Cleveland (ROR-GC) for capacity building to expand the local reach of this evidence-based program that builds on the unique relationship between parents and pediatricians to develop critical early literacy skills in children, beginning in infancy.  ROR-GC will be supported in this expansion effort by The Literacy Cooperative.  The two organizations will work together not only to grow the program but also to integrate it with other literacy initiatives underway in the community.  The funds will enable ROR-GC to hire a coordinator to engage more healthcare providers and families and to leverage other community literacy efforts.


  • $35,000 was awarded to Starting Point to support the implementation of the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment for Infants and Toddlers (DECA-IT) program in early learning centers serving low-income children.  The DECA-IT is a tool for parents and early learning teachers that promotes social-emotional learning and focuses on building within-child resiliency, specifically the protective factors of initiative, attachment/relationships, and self-regulation.  The program’s positive effects on children, teachers, and families have been demonstrated through multiple research studies.  The program has also been shown to be an effective means for identifying children with special needs and supporting the connection of those children with other services. The funds will support implementation of the program in 27 early childhood centers.