Discovery Initiative

The Discovery initiative aims to effect community change and policy reform that will create an early childhood system that ensures early learning success for all children. At the Memorial Fund we believe that through collaborative work with communities, statewide partners and government agencies, Discovery contributes to a common goal:

Connecticut children of all races and income levels are ready for
school by age five and are successful learners by age nine.

Discovery, which is in the final year of a 15-year initiative, is guided by the belief that the best practices in education and child development result from encouraging and listening to all voices of the community. Essentially this work helps communities establish collaborative structures for inclusive local decision-making in which parents are engaged as full partners. Discovery communities are creating comprehensive birth to age eight local action plans. These plans enable communities to remain focused and to measure their progress toward school success for every child.

In this final year, Discovery will continue to help build an early childhood system at both the state and local levels with communities as full partners from creating the vision to implementation. Within this work, Discovery will concentrate on four areas:

• Increase parent engagement and leadership in early care and education through information, support and leadership development opportunities.
• Improve the quality of and access to family- and center-based early care and education for children from birth through age five.
• Improve the quality of PreK-3 education in ways that increase early language and literacy development among all children and promote continuity of a child’s learning from preschool through third grade.
• Increase state and local capacity to set goals, measure progress and encourage those most affected to share their own stories.

Discovery offers grants and capacity building to 40 communities and six statewide partners. Currently Discovery offers capacity building in the areas of collaboration, parent engagement, results-based accountability, community planning and decision-making, and facilitative leadership. Other Discovery elements include knowledge sharing, communications, and partnerships.