Four More Early Learning Centers Run by Family Literacy Progam to Open in Detroit

February 24th, 2010
Barton ELC in southwest Detroit

Southwest Counseling Solutions’ Early Childhood and Family Literacy program will open four additional Early Learning Communities (ELCs) in Detroit, thanks to funding from the United Way and the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC).

The new ELCs will begin operating by March 15. They are:

  • Dixon Elementary School ELC at 19500 Tireman, Detroit, MI 48228
  • St. Cecilia’s Catholic School ELC is located at 6327 Burlingame St., Detroit, MI 48204
  • Clara Barton Elementary School ELC is located at 8530 Joy Rd., Detroit, MI 48204
  • Gesu Catholic School ELC is located at 17139 Oak Dr., Detroit, MI 48221

ELCs provide free training and resources to parents and caregivers so that they can prepare children to be “ready to learn” when the children enter school. The ELC center:

  • Promotes child development and early literacy
  • Provides a safe, inviting space to learn new techniques and network with peers
  • Mentors and supports parents, family members, friends and neighbors who care for young children
  • Gives lessons in health, safety, nutrition, conflict resolution, child development, and learning through play
  • Includes a lending library that offers educational materials that can be taken home
  • Provides incentives and free childcare for those attending the training sessions

“We encourage parents and caregivers to take full advantage of the ELC center in their neighborhood,” said Donna Cielma, director of Family Literacy at Southwest Counseling Solutions. “Most of the development in a child occurs before the child starts school, and it is critical that a child experience opportunities to develop strong cognitive and language skills.”

The four new ELCs add to two others that Southwest Counseling operates: McGraw ELC at 7060 McGraw St., Detroit, MI 48210 (in the former rectory of St. Andrew Church); and the Southwestern ELC in Southwestern High School at 6921 W. Fort St Detroit, MI 48209.

The six sites combined will serve more than 750 parents and caregivers and help more than 3000 children be better prepared to be successful in school.

To learn more about the Southwest ELC program, contact the Early Childhood & Family Literacy main office at 313.896.2800.

For more information about the United Way ELC initiative, visit its webpage.

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