Families & Schools Together awarded $565,000 in grants from the Department of Children and Families to support families across Wisconsin

July 30, 2020

July 30, 2020 – Madison, Wis. – Families & Schools Together received a Preschool Development Grant in the amount of $315,000 from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) in support of early childcare and education. This grant will support the pilot of the newly revised Early Childhood Education Level of FAST®, the internationally acclaimed evidence-based parent engagement program, in partnership with five Family Resource Centers across the state: Family & Childcare Resources of N.E.W. in Green Bay, Rhinelander Family Resource Connection, The Parenting Network in Milwaukee, Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley, and The Parenting Place in La Crosse.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with the Department of Children and Families to empower parents of young children with the launch of FAST Early Childhood,” said Toni Rivera-Joachin, Executive Director of Families & Schools Together. “This grant will bolster emotional learning, child development, and provide crucial support to parents and caregivers among participating families throughout Wisconsin.”

Families & Schools Together will be building local capacity by training teams and developing Certified FAST Trainers to help sustain our work. As FAST is continually innovating and adapting to current circumstances, we are committed to offering and providing programs in a virtual/at-home setting to accommodate all families and sites.

DCF also renewed a $250,000 grant to support FAST in five schools in the Milwaukee Public School (MPS) district: Auer Avenue, Keefe Avenue, Hopkins Lloyd, Brown Street Academy, and Engleburg schools.

“At MPS, families are our most valuable partners in ensuring the success of students. The Families and Schools Together (FAST) Program has contributed greatly to the community of learning at our five FAST schools, and the outcomes speak for themselves. We are grateful for the continued partnership with the Department of Children and Families and FAST,” said Kevin Curley, FAST Team Member at MPS.

Families & Schools Together is grateful for DCF’s ongoing partnership as we work together to nurture families and communities in their quest to find success.

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Preschool Development Grant – Birth to Five is a one-year federal grant (renewable for up to five years) that aims to improve the state’s early care system, focusing on the recruitment and retention of relevant professionals, family empowerment, building supportive networks, and increasing the quality of programs. The grant shares in the Department of Children and Families’ vision that all Wisconsin children and youth belong to safe and loving families and communities with its own vision: “By 2023, all Wisconsin families will have access to high-quality, affordable, local early care and education opportunities.” Learn more.

Families & Schools Together, Inc. is a non-profit organization located in Madison, Wisconsin, whose mission is to nurture the inherent potential of every child by uniting families, schools, and communities. Founded in 1988 by scientific researcher and Professor of Social Work Dr. Lynn McDonald, the internationally acclaimed FAST® Program is built on a strong platform of developmental and behavioral science and consistently produces statistically significant improvements in children’s behavior, emotional well-being, and academic performance. FAST empowers parents to build social capital among schools and communities, as well as helps them strengthen their role as leaders within the family and in the community. By establishing these networks of support, families are more able to actively engage in their child’s education, leading to improved academic and developmental outcomes. Learn more.