Over 60 people came out July 21 to the second annual Stroller Roll to support the local early childhood fund. Many adults brought their children in strollers while others came out to run competitively.
The funds raised will support the Early Childhood Implementation Fund held at the Sturgis Area Community Foundation. These dollars support preschool scholarships for at risk three year old children and provide mini grants to child care providers for safety and curriculum needs.
“This event is about our children in St. Joseph County,” said Amy Brauer, Great Start Collaborative Coordinator. “We hope to enroll more children in preschool and impact the early childhood system so that all kids have a chance to grow up safe, healthy, and ready to succeed.”
Last year, the Great Start Collaborative (GSC) provided seven preschool scholarships. The average payment for a scholarship was $2,154. The event raised approximately $3,000. From the support of this event, the GSC will be able to help at least one more three-year-old attend preschool.
Research has shown that investing in young children has a positive impact on society. “Investing in young children makes sense,” said Brauer. “These findings confirm how participating in preschool programs impacts the community later on.”
After participating in the Preschool School Scholarship program, these children are transitioned into the Great Start Readiness Program or Head Start. This gives children two years of high quality preschool. The GSC anticipates following these children throughout high school to evaluate the impact of the scholarship program.
For more information on the Great Start Collaborative and the local early childhood fund, go to www.sjcgsc.org.