Press Releases

Roanoke Region Embarks on $600,000 Early Childhood Education Initiative

June 25 2009

Grant from Virginia Early Childhood Foundation Benefits Building Children’s Futures Coalition

What: Building Children’s Futures, a coalition formed to improve the quality of early childhood programs and services in the Roanoke Region, will receive a $400,000 grant from the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation to create a systemic and unified approach to early childhood education ensuring that more children in the Roanoke region enter Kindergarten emotionally, socially, academically, and physically ready to succeed in school and in life. The Roanoke region includes the Cities of Roanoke and Salem and Roanoke, Botetourt, Craig, and Franklin Counties. Local matching funds will bring the total cost of implementation for the program to $600,000.


  • News Conference
  • Wednesday, October 17, 2007 at 10:00 AM
  • Greenvale School Inc., 627 Westwood Blvd NW, Roanoke, VA 24017


  • Dr. Robert Sandel, President, Virginia Western Community College
  • Danielle Yarber, Vice President & General Manager, Xpedx
  • Scott Hippert, President, Virginia Early Childhood Foundation

Why: The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) will award more than $2.4 million in grants to community coalitions across the state over the next two years to provide young children with a smart beginning to their education.

About the Coalition: Building Children’s Futures is a collaborative effort of the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Roanoke Valley, Council of Community Services, CHIP of Roanoke Valley and Blue Ridge PBS.

Local Initiatives Through This Program:

  • Parent education through home visits and workshops
  • Early childhood literacy through programs, workshops, and meetings
  • Coordinated professional development system for childcare providers
  • Concentrated on-site professional development through mentoring/coaching/modeling and assessments at selected pilot sites
  • Provide access to health care services, mental health services, and appropriate nutrition

Story Opportunity: This is one of the largest grants awarded by VECF to benefit hundreds of Roanoke region preschoolers through early education programs and services. With the matching funds, $600,000 is being invested in the future of our area’s youngest citizens. Speakers and coalition execs will be available for interviews at the event. Contact Marnie Andrew at 540.983.0700, ext. 225 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for interviews.

About the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation: The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation is a public-private partnership with a mission to provide collaborative leadership to foster Smart Beginnings for all young children in Virginia and through them a vital future for the Commonwealth. Our vision is that all of Virginia’s youngest citizens will enter kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed in life. The VECF is a 501C3 nonprofit organization located in Richmond.

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Elizabeth Strother, Editor Roanoke Times

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The United Way of Roanoke Valley serves as the fiscal agent for Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke.

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