Did you know that the St. Vincent Early Learning Center (ELC) has been a part of the Tri-State for over a hundred years? That blew my mind! Since 1918, the center has tried to give children endless ways to express their ideas, thoughts, understanding and knowledge. Part of the philosophy at the ELC is "Play-based and inquiry-based learning is focused on children’s interests – engaging and challenging them to make sense of the world. Play is used to maximize their potential in all areas of development, and through exploration of materials they build knowledge and understanding."

The staff and the families at the ELC are riding high right now, following the big announcement that they were awarded a $40,000 grant! The money comes from Early Learning Indiana and is part of a $15 million fund called Come Back Stronger, created to "reinforce Indiana’s supply of high-quality early learning opportunities, especially for the state’s most vulnerable children."

The money will allow the St. Vincent Early Learning Center to continue their great work in a post-coronavirus world. Specifically, the grant money will go towards the following three areas:

  1. PPE equipment and supplies needed to mitigate COVID-19
  2. Temporary staffing to enable support for COVID-related mitigation efforts
  3. Learning materials and equipment to allow for more social distancing and less sharing of items and spaces.

In order to receive the grant, the ELC had to submit an explanation of how they would use the money, and they had to meet certain criteria. The ELC is one of 155 organizations to benefit from this first round of grants totally over $2.3 million. That means there is still a bunch of money to be distributed, and it's still not too late to apply for a Come Back Stronger Fund grant.

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