United Way selects subgrantees to share in federal dollars to invigorate early childhood education

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"I’m pleased that the critical work of United Way for Southeastern Michigan and their partners is being recognized by this award from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF)," said U.S. Rep. Sander Levin. "The SIF funds will help these organizations better serve our communities, improving the health and well-being of so many children and families throughout southeast Michigan.”

"Supporting children early in the home before they start school can make all the difference in whether they succeed in the classroom in the years ahead,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow. “I applaud the United Way for Southeastern Michigan and all its partners for focusing on this critical area to help all our children succeed."


United Way for Southeastern Michigan, a grantee of the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) Social Innovation Fund (SIF), announces ACCESS, CARE of Southeastern Michigan, Leaps & Bounds Family Services, and Oakland Family Services as subgrantees to partner in its Child Development work. The agencies will receive a SIF grant of $100,000 to $300,000 to advance United Way’s Bib to Backpack initiative throughout Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, and expand adults’ access to a variety of resources to increase their child’s readiness for kindergarten. The funds will also be used to mobilize public and private support, as United Way and each of the subgrantees are required to match the SIF federal funds, dollar-for-dollar. As such, nearly $16 million dollars in private funds will be leveraged over four years for even greater impact.

“Last year, United Way was the only local nonprofit to have been invited to speak at the White House to highlight the benefits of the SIF, and share best practices,” says Herman Gray, president and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “The distinction speaks to CNCS’s faith in our work, and the caliber of organizations we’ve been honored to partner with and will partner with to move the needle on early childhood education.”

Last year, United Way received a four-year $6 million federal grant from the SIF to grow the impact of innovative, community-based solutions that have compelling evidence of improving lives in low-income communities throughout the United States. That same year, United Way held an open competition for promising organizations with evidence of results to receive subgrants of at least $100,000 per year for up to four years. The additional funds will allow the subgrantees opportunities to expand their reach to impact more families, and conduct evaluations to continue learning what works in the area of Early Childhood Development to benefit families in Southeast Michigan.

“United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s Bib to Backpack initiative is an innovative approach offering compelling solutions to the persistent challenges facing the Detroit community,” said Lois Nembhard, Acting Director of the Social Innovation Fund. “We are eager to have the opportunity to expand our impact in the Greater Detroit region, once again.”

For more information about United Way for Southeastern Michigan or its Child Development initiative, Bib to Backpack, visit LiveUnitedSEM.org