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CECE Funders and Donors

The work of the Center for Early Childhood Education is supported by a number of generous grants and donations. Major gifts and awards received to date include the following:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families
The Center received funding from the Preschool Development Grant (PDG) through the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood to develop online learning modules on supporting families transitioning from Birth to Three services to preschool special education.

Theresa and Ray Kalber
Eastern graduate Theresa Kalber '70 and her husband Ray are ongoing contributors to Eastern's Education Department. The retired teachers chose to earmark their FY19 gift for the Jeffrey and Nancy Trawick-Smith Early Childhood Undergraduate Research Fund.

Jeffrey and Nancy Trawick-Smith
Professor Emeritus and former Phyllis Waite Endowed Chair Jeffrey Trawick-Smith and his wife, Nancy, created the Jeffrey and Nancy Trawick-Smith Early Childhood Undergraduate Research Fund to support undergraduate research in the CECE.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
In partnership with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood and the University of Connecticut, the Center received HRSA funding for a Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Innovation grant to develop online learning modules for home visitors on a variety of topics.

Connecticut Office of Early Childhood
The Center received a two-year grant from the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood to develop videos and other training materials for early childhood providers to assist them in implementing the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards, and to support children's social and emotional development.

Spencer Foundation
The Center has received two Small Research Grants from the Spencer Foundation. The first grant helped to identify classroom interventions in play that are associated with math achievement in three- and four-year-olds. The second grant studied how the kinds of conversations teachers have with young children during free play related to quantity, size, shape, and numerical problem-solving affect children’s math learning over time. 

Windham Area Women and Girls Fund
The Windham Area Women and Girls Fund of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut supported an effort to develop the Family Reading Time / La hora de lectura en familia video series and provide multilingual families with tips for reading with young children.

Head Start Body Start
The Center received a contract from Head Start Body Start to conduct research on the benefits of physical and outdoor play for children from birth to age five, leading to a comprehensive literature review, a video series, and written Teacher Tips on promoting physical and outdoor play.

U.S. Department of Education
The Center received a $3.9 million Early Reading First grant for the Community Partners for Early Literacy project to improve the language and early literacy skills of preschool children in Willimantic.

SBM Charitable Foundation
The SBM Charitable Foundation generously provided a $500,000 leadership gift in support of early childhood education and created an endowed scholarship fund for students in this field.

U.S. Department of Defense
The Center received an appropriation of $975,000 for Project Navigate, an effort to support preschool teachers in U.S. Navy Child and Youth Programs. The project resulted in the development of the video series Guiding Young Children's Behavior.

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation
The Center received $500,000 to establish the Phyllis Waite Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Education.