A Stepping Stone’s Literacy Program Earns the Support of The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.
Valley’s Most Vulnerable Parents Commit to Bettering Themselves For The Sake Of Their Children
PHOENIX, AZ (June 26, 2014) – More than 42 million Americans can’t read. In an effort to combat multi-generational illiteracy in the greater Phoenix area The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation today announced a $360,000 grant to A Stepping Stone Foundation. The grant will enable the organization to expand its tuition free whole-family literacy and early childhood education programs to help transform more lives through education.
Funding from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation will specifically help A Stepping Stone deliver quality preschool and adult education, as well as parenting classes, to underserved families in the Phoenix community. The grant will also enable the organization to conduct in-home visits to assess and support the needs of families with young children.
“The significance of this program in the lives and futures of these families is huge,” said Bob Parsons. “By electing to participate, parents are removing barriers to success – bringing stories to life for their children and opening doors for themselves.”
Early childhood programs are the most effective way to ensure healthy development of children who live in poverty and offer the greatest returns to society. Focused on families with the utmost need, A Stepping Stone’s model hinges on making parents a partner in their children’s education by holding them accountable for improving their own.
Parents who participate sign a contract pledging to complete pre-determined educational requirements through the A Stepping Stone, such as working toward their GED or ESL certificate. In return, their preschool age children receive a well-rounded education which follow-up studies inform us prepares them to be more successful than their peers.
“Sometimes to help a child you have to help their parents too, which is exactly the model A Stepping Stone has created,” said Renee Parsons. “By addressing the literacy needs of families with limited opportunities, Bob and I believe the organization is helping break the cycle of poverty in our community.”
“The grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation is a game changer,” said A Stepping Stone Foundation Executive Director Cynthia Gattorna. “The grant not only provides a sound backbone for the continuation of our program, but it also gives us the breathing room we needed to expand our program outside of the Phoenix area.”