Families & Schools Together, Inc. Receives $35,000 Grant Award to Pilot the FAST® Program at One City Early Learning Centers in Madison


June 1, 2017 – Madison, WI – Families & Schools Together, Inc. received a generous grant in the amount of $35,000 from the Madison Community Foundation to pilot FAST®, the evidence-based parent engagement program, at One City Early Learning Centers in South Madison, Wisconsin.

“We are very appreciative of the Madison Community Foundation’s investment in the One City FAST Partnership,” said Carol Goedken, CEO and Executive Director of Families and Schools Together, Inc. “This award will serve as a catalyst for helping to increase school readiness and narrow the achievement gap across Dane County.”

This initiative seeks to increase family engagement among families served, ultimately improving the academic trajectory of children. Indeed, longitudinal research has identified family engagement as one of the most significant contributors to school completion and success. Based on principles of early intervention, FAST promotes child well-being by decreasing parental stress and family conflict, increasing family cohesion, and building social capital among families.

“One City’s mission is to prepare young children from birth to age five for success in school and life, and ensure they enter grade school reading-ready,” said Kaleem Caire, CEO and Founder. “We recognize that parent and family engagement is essential to the success of our children and should be infused within our school’s culture and curriculum. This makes the One City FAST Partnership invaluable not only to the children and families that we’re serving, but also to the greater Madison community.”

Madison Community Foundation’s investment will be used as a 1:2 match toward the 2-year FAST pilot project at One City in South Madison’s 53713 zip code. With the highest concentration of poverty in Dane County, there is a need for wrap-around, supportive services to ensure that children are provided an equal opportunity to succeed in school and beyond.

Madison Community Foundation uses its local knowledge and assets to inspire giving, support meaningful initiatives, and connect people for the common good. It was established in 1942 as a tax-exempt community trust and is governed by a Board of Governors representing the broad interests of the community. Individuals and organizations interested in establishing an endowment with Madison Community Foundation or donating money to its general fund may find more information online at www.MadisonGives.org.

 Families & Schools Together, Inc. is a non-profit organization located in Madison, Wisconsin whose mission is the development and worldwide dissemination of the FAST® Program. 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, and helps them strengthen their role as leaders within the family as well as 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. To learn more, visit www.familiesandschools.org