The Manhattan Toy Company (MTC) selected The Family Partnership’s North Minneapolis preschool as the recipient of the company’s first-ever “Happy Start” grant. The Minneapolis Company is donating 200 of its educational, high-end wooden and stuffed toys, and a check for $100,000, to boost the preschool children’s learning development.
“We want all kids to have a happy start in life, regardless of if they can afford our toys,” says Nora O’Leary, CEO of MTC. “We chose The Family Partnership’s Children’s First Early Learning Center for our first grant because they are doing great things right in our own community.”
O’Leary also cited TFP’s record with kids: 94% of the children attending TFP’s multicultural therapeutic preschools graduate “kindergarten-ready” vs. only 30% of all Minnesota children living in poverty.
More than toys – The $100,000 grant will support scholarships, transportation and family events, important services to the preschool’s families, 98 percent of whom live 200 percent below the federal poverty level.
“The grant helps to provide financial stability so we can get kids to school and families can attend our hosted events and do activities together,” says Cassaundra Davis, Director of Children’s First Early Learning Center. “Our teachers and kids were thrilled to unpack the toys and begin playing with them! We plan to integrate them into our lesson plans.”
In addition, each preschooler will be able to select a toy to keep as their own!
For gift ideas from MTC for your family, see the KARE-11 story Toys that teach.