The link between early childhood education and a better life is undeniable. Studies have shown that children who don’t receive the early care are 40% less likely to go to college and sadly 70% more likely to be involved in a crime.
The Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative is a program that creates free preschool programs housed at community organizations in the area, including:
- Baxter Community Center
- Southend Community Outreach Ministries
- New Hope Baptist Church
- Steepletown Neighborhood Services
- Hispanic Center of West Michigan
- The Other Way Ministries
- United Methodist Community House
They have multiple centers to decrease the transportation burden on parents. It’s important to have easy access for families in these targeted neighborhoods.
Dr. Nkechy Ezeh, the president of ELNC, says her collaborative was formed because various people and groups in the community saw the need, and found a way to help.
Children living in this neighborhood do not have access to quality preschool. That was really the reason behind our coming together”, she said.
83% of children in the neighborhood were not ready for kindergarten. And as Dr. Ezeh says, “if you are not ready for kindergarten, you are not ready for life”.