Crains: NCAA donates $250,000 legacy grant to fund childhood learning

March 4th, 2009
Greg Kelser speaks at the Munger ELC

NCAA donates $250,000 legacy grant to fund childhood learning

By Sherri Begin Welch
Crain’s Detroit Business

The National Collegiate Athletic Association Tuesday made its first ever legacy program grant of $250,000 to United Way for Southeastern Michigan to help fund the establishment of four early childhood learning program sites.The grant is meant to leave a legacy for the region serving as host of the 2009 NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball tournament.

Literacy and education are by their very nature important to the NCAA, said NCAA Vice President Greg Shaheen in a press release.

The NCAA is happy to collaborate with Detroit local organizing committee for the 2009 NCAA Men’s Final Four, United Way and other civic leaders “to leave a footprint and a legacy behind in Detroit,” he said.

The NCAA legacy grant, coupled with multi-year grants of $700,000 from the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Family Foundation and the Kresge Foundation will fund the operation of the first two early childhood learning centers for three years, said Michael Tenbusch, vice president of educational preparedness at United Way.

United Way is now in conversations with other foundations to secure funding for the other two early childhood learning centers, he said.

The first of the four early learning centers is expected to open in March at the Shurly Family Learning Center in Detroit’s Brightmoor neighborhood.

The second site, also expected to open in March, will be located at Southwest Solutions in southwest Detroit.

United Way plans to open two additional early childhood learning centers next year, one in Detroit’s Osborn neighborhood on the city’s northwest side and the other either in the North End neighborhood in the central city or again in southwest Detroit, Tenbusch said.

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