Education Project

Great Expectations

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Project Overview

MDC serves as the activating agency for the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust’s Great Expectations early childhood initiative, a $40 million, 10-year investment focused on ensuring children in Forsyth County enter kindergarten ready to learn and leave set for success in school and life–regardless of their race, location, or economic status.

Great Expectations aligns work around the following goals:

  1. Narrow racial disparities in birth and postpartum outcomes for Medicaid and uninsured populations
  2. Reduce the occurrences and impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress among young children
  3. Increase access to and reduce bias in high-quality Pre-K
  4. Strengthen the capacity of informal caregivers to provide enriching environments and developmentally appropriate care for young children and ensure that the Forsyth County childcare ecosystem is inclusive of informal care
  5. Improve equity and alignment across early childhood systems
  6. Increase integrated, family-centered approaches that promote educational attainment and economic advancement of parents of young children in Forsyth County

MDC provides thought partnership and strategic implementation support to the Trust and Great Expectations grantees, advancing critical projects toward a more equitable early childhood system in Forsyth County. Our work involves facilitating connections to evidence-based and innovative early childhood and family support practices; advising on initiative design and implementation; facilitating collaborative partnerships; promoting alignment across local, state, and national systems; providing leadership coaching, ensuring a racial equity lens, and shifting decision-making structures toward inclusion of people with lived experience.

The work stems from MDC’s understanding that quality early childhood education sets young children up for successful entry into school and careers. Children without a strong early educational foundation are more likely to drop out of school and less likely to attain a postsecondary education, which lowers the chances of experiencing upward economic mobility.

If you are interested in more on this program, please contact program director, Jenna Barnes.

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Contact the Project Team

Jenna Barnes, Program Director

Email Jenna Barnes