Four grants totaling $1.37 million have been awarded by the John Rex Endowment to support projects in Wake County that address the mental health and the social and emotional well-being of young children. The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) and Wake County SmartStart will receive project implementation grants. Marbles Kids Museum and WCPSS will be awarded planning grants.
WCPSS will receive a three-year grant for $971,428 to focus on increasing social skills and decreasing problem behaviors in preschool classrooms. The project will build on the use of the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (SEFEL) coaching framework.
Wake County SmartStart will receive a three-year grant of $295,496 to create an integrated system to ensure that home-based resources are understood, easily accessible, and utilized efficiently and effectively by community agencies and families.
Marbles Kids Museum will receive a $71,390 grant to identify solutions to increase parent and guardian awareness of the importance of play in the positive development of children ages 5 and younger. The solutions will fous on enabling parents and guardians to beneficially impact the well-being of children through play at Marbles and at home.
WCPSS will also receive $34,357 to develop a set of strategies designed to increase the capacity of community agencies to promote the development and mental health of young children through evidence-based parenting support. The strategies will focus on providing support for families with children in kindergarten or younger.
“Early life experiences shape how the brain develops, and they also provide a foundation for children to grow and develop into healthy productive youth and adults,” said Kevin Cain, president and CEO of the John Rex Endowment. “We can influence the environments and experiences children have by supporting and working with organizations that focus on the healthy development of young children.”