Grants Foster Use of Data Toward Communtiy Early Education Goals

January 23, 2019, For Immediate Release

Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke, a regional early childhood education initiative of United Way of Roanoke Valley, has received a $20,000 grant from the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF).

The grant will be used to support an initiative, in partnership with the Roanoke Valley Regional Commission, to complete two data-mapping projects – a Fiscal Map and a Resource Map.

In January, VECF awarded $144,000 in data capacity booster grants to Smart Beginnings partners in 10 areas across the Commonwealth.  These grants are designed to improve data capacity systems and analytics that will be used to make data-informed decisions impacting school readiness at the community level.

“This furthers our ability to identify our local resources and implement other state initiatives, helping us in our effort to better serve children and their families, regardless of their financial background,” said Afira DeVries, President and CEO of United Way of Roanoke Valley.

Smart Beginnings New River Valley also received a 23,000 grant from the VECF to support an effort, in partnership with Smart Beginnings Southwest Virginia, Virginia Quality, and the New River Valley Regional Commission, to pilot a data system enhancement to collect and manage regional early childhood workforce data. 

Together with VECF, participants will create community profiles with publicly available data to inform targeted strategies, and increase their capacity to identify, access, collect, manage, use and interpret data to meet their school readiness goals.