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Early-Childhood Programs in Newark, N.J., Get $1 Million Boost

A group of community organizations in Newark—including a foundation that was created in 2010 after a $100 million investment in education by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg— have pledged $1 million to support programs for city children ages birth to 3. 

In 2013, a report from Advocates for Children of New Jersey said that nearly half of the city's children live in poverty, and about a quarter of its children are in extreme poverty, meaning in a household that earns 50 percent or less of the federal poverty line of about $23,850 for a family of four. 

The Foundation for Newark's Future, created with the Zuckerberg donation, pledged $250,000 for early childhood in the wake of the report's release, and were joined by other area groups that raised the additional funds.

Tuesday, the organizations announced that the money will be invested in creating a comprehensive family resource guide; providing micro-grants to help early-childhood organizations expand; offering professional development and resources to Early Head Start teachers; and allowing center directors to invest in professional growth and center improvements, with a goal of joining the state's Quality Rating and Improvement System. 

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