Troy University’s Coleman Center for Early Learning and Family Enrichment on Dothan’s campus just landed a $592,966 grant to support high-quality learning and care for children.
The Alabama Department of Early Education awarded the funds from the state’s federal Preschool Development Grant, Birth-Five (PDG-5).
The grant will help staff obtain more advanced education credentials, provide the center with high-quality early learning materials and developmentally-appropriate outside play materials, and provide the Coleman Center with coaches certified in infant and toddler development to work with teachers.
The grant is awarded as part of First Class Foundations, a statewide initiative funded by the PDG B-5, with the goal of ensuring “all Alabama children are healthy and emotionally ready to enter kindergarten … and strong supports are provided to assist families in making informed choices.”
“We know that 95% of a child’s brain develops from before birth through age 5,” said Secretary of Early Childhood Education Dr. Barbara J. Cooper. “A child’s first five years provides a solid learning foundation for an entire lifetime of success, both inside and outside of the classroom. The First Class Foundations initiative will support us with our priority to work with families to improve the early development, learning and health of their children by connecting them with outstanding early learning opportunities.”
The Coleman Center, which opened in 2019, provides high-quality early learning and care for children in the Wiregrass region from six weeks through 5 years old.
“The First Class Foundations initiative will ensure Coleman Center remains a model for Birth-Five early childhood education in the Wiregrass and throughout the state,” said Coleman Center Director Nancy Mitta.