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The Early Childhood Education Fund at Community Foundation for the Alleghenies

Early Childhood Education and Community Initiatives

CFA launched the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Fund as a special initiative in 2019, with the aim of increasing access to quality early childhood education across the region. Research shows that quality early learning can provide multi-generational impact, which aligns perfectly with CFA’s goal of helping donors create lasting change.

In late 2019, the Foundation awarded the first round of grants from the ECE Fund: $235,000 to support teachers and providers at 50 local facilities for early learning and positively affect hundreds of children in the region. The grants were distributed to programs that demonstrated the ability to help more kids be ready for kindergarten and become proficient readers by the end of 3rd grade.

While ECE is a new initiative and special focus for CFA, the fund is designed to be a permanent resource—endowed for future grantmaking, forever—for supporting our community’s kids.

In a similar vein, the Community Initiatives (CI) Fund, established in 2010, continues to provide resources for projects that will create and sustain lasting positive change for our region. In February, CFA awarded $642,000 in CI funding to support 16 projects to strengthen Cambria and Somerset counties. Those grants included projects to improve facades and greenspaces to attract private development, plus major grants to critical improvements at Johnstown’s Inclined Plane and to implement trail lighting for the Iron to Arts Corridor, which will also serve as a section of the September 11th National Memorial Trail.

Vision Together 2025, an ongoing grassroots effort to engage volunteers and revitalize the region, also received funding, as well as a project to develop trails around Lake Somerset in Somerset County. The Johnstown Youth Corps, a well-regarded program to provide local teens with job experience and skills for success, also received a grant. This summer, one of their projects was to team up with the Alternative Community Resource Program’s Youth Employment Services to make 80 beds for local kids who need them—a collaborative approach that responded to local needs on several levels.

Both funds provide opportunities for creating individual legacies. Discover how CFA can help you create a legacy that lasts forever by reaching out to CFA Director of Donor Services Katrina Perkosky at or (814) 208-8411.

CLICK HERE to explore more of the 2020 Annual Report online.

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