Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative (ELNC) is an initiative, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, vested in changing the current reality of vulnerable children. In order to create this change, ELNC has designed and is currently implementing an intentional preschool service system aimed at providing, expanding and sustaining the capacity of high quality early care and education programs in the vulnerable neighborhoods of Grand Rapids

Our Vision

We envision a community where all children, regardless of the neighborhood in which they live, are able to thrive developmentally and educationally allowing them to fully embrace their God given potential and become self sufficient adults.

Our Mission

"The Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative will create and provide targeted neighborhood collaborative partners with technical, developmental and educational support in order to increase the accessibility of early educational resources for vulnerable children"

Our Core Values

  • Outcomes
    Driven, results oriented - We must ensure our children develop and are educated, not by our good works, but by evidence of their increasing knowledge, skills and abilities.

  • Cultural Competence
    Children develop and grow best in ways that are consistent with the cultural rhythms and patterns of their families.

  • Creativity and Innovation
    Current efforts leave far too many children in under resourced neighborhoods lagging behind in development and education. We must find and use new and different objectives, strategies, and activities to help our children thrive.

  • Place-Based
    We are committed to the belief that the best environment for the early education of children is rooted in what is local-the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of a particular place--that is, in a child's own "place" or immediate schoolyard, neighborhood, town or community.

ELNC Board of Directors

Dana F. Boals, President
William Bennett, Vice-President
Celeste Sanchez, Secretary
Nicole Notario-Risk, Treasurer
Benjamin Amponsah, Trustee
Lilliana Garcia, Trustee
Maribeth Waldrop, Trustee
Eddie Rucker, Trustee
Jackie Nickel, Trustee

ELNC Partners Advisory Council

Rose Simmons, United Methodist Community House - Co-Chair
Melita Powell, The Other Way Ministry - Co-Chair
Sharon LaChappelle, Baxter Community Center - Member
Sonja Forte, Baxter Community Center - Member
Deisy Madrigal, Hispanic Center of West Michigan - Member
Jaenell Ott, Member - Hispanic Center of West Michigan - Member
Pastor Howard Earle, New Hope Baptist Church - Member
Pastor Dallas Lenear, New Hope Baptist Church - Member
Dick Bulkowski, Steepletown Neighborhood Services - Member
Yolanda Macias, Steepletown Neighborhood Services - Member
Amy Brower, South End Community Outreach Ministry (SECOM) - Member
Kathy Brower, South End Community Outreach Ministry (SECOM) - Member
Kurt Reppart, The Other Way Ministry - Member
Richard Clanton, United Methodist Community House - Member

Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative

P.O. Box 7828, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49510
Phone: (616) 819-1407
Email: info@elncgr.org

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