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Kellogg Foundation Invests $13.7 Million in Family-Engagement Programs

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The W.K. Kellogg Foundation on Thursday announced the 30 recipients of $13.7 million in grants to bolster and strengthen family-school partnerships nationwide.

More than 1,130 organizations applied for the family-engagement grants, making it the greatest number of applicants for a single funding initiative in the Battle Creek, Mich.-based foundation's 83-year history.

La June Montgomery Tabron, president and chief executive officer of the Kellogg Foundation, described the overwhelming response in a news release, as an "eye-opening moment." The foundation had initially pledged $5 million in August of 2013 to support family-engagement efforts that would help improve the education of young children.

"We knew there was a need and a value around the issue of family engagement," Tabron said in the release, "but we didn't realize the extent of the shared value around families' desire to more deeply engage in their children's education."

The grant recipients represent 18 states and the District of Columbia, with California-based organizations receiving the most grants. Organizations will receive up to $500,000 to fund family-engagement programs. Recipients include OneAmerica, an immigrant advocacy group in Seattle; a Burlington, Vt., YMCA's early-learning program; and the Los Angeles-based Advancement Project's educational-equity program.

Carla Thompson, vice president for program strategy at the Kellogg Foundation, said that the grant recipients understand that family engagement is a "core strategy" directly linked to boosting student achievement. In the news release, the foundation said the grantees share the belief that all families are "powerful assets for their children's education." The foundation also emphasized that family engagement is a "shared responsibility" relying on families, communities, and schools to support student achievement

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