Savannah Early Childhood Foundation

All Children Ready At School Age


Savannah’s ELC at Parent U Secures Major Funding from City, County & School System

September 20, 2016 | Posted by pfisher


$125,000 in public grants to help fund 15 parent-education sessions at six area schools in 2016-17 school year

SAVANNAH, GA – The Savannah Early Childhood Foundation (SECF) is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with Chatham County Commission Chairman Al Scott for $50,000 to fund the groundbreaking Early Learning College at Parent University program. The agreement positions “SECF and its affiliate Parent University” as a critical entity in implementing the Education Pillar of Chatham County’s “Community Blueprint” and stipulates the funds can be applied to programming through July 2017.

In addition, SECF also secured $25,000 from the City of Savannah and $50,000 from the Savannah Chatham County Public School System to fund at least 15 ELC at Parent U sessions at six area public schools.

“Securing funding from the three elected bodies that govern our community demonstrates that ELC is filling a critical gap that has existed for some time,” said Parent University founder andSavannah Early Childhood Foundation (SECF) Executive Director Michael O’Neal. “This year, we are expanding our efforts and we hope to do even more to help ensure all Savannah children are ready for school by giving more local parents access to proven techniques for helping their children succeed in school and in life.”

The ELC at Parent U program, which is aimed at helping parents create high-quality learning environments for their children starting at birth through age five, has expanded rapidly since it was launched in 2012. Developed and conducted in partnership with local schools and community organizations, the program offers local parents, caretakers and supporters of young children an opportunity to learn from professional instructors about proven ways to enrich their child’s development and better prepare them for school.

Hosted on Saturday mornings throughout the school year, each ELC session is four hours long and free to the public. The curriculum includes subjects like discipline with love, nutrition, multiple ways to create language-rich environments, how to create educational toys from common household goods, and much more. Anyone interested in creating a safe, nurturing, language-rich environment for young children in their neighborhood is encouraged to attend.

Upcoming ELC at Parent U sessions will take place at Savannah Classical Academy (Oct. 1), Haven Elementary (Oct. 22), Shuman Elementary (Nov. 12), Juliette Low Elementary (Nov. 19), Spencer Elementary (Dec. 3) and East Broad K-8 (Dec. 17). More details can be found
PHOTO (credit SECF): SECF President Paul Fisher and Executive Director Mike O’Neal sign an MOU with Chatham County granting $50,000 for the 2016-17 school year to fund the ELC at Parent U program.

About Parent University: Founded in 1999, Parent University is a 501c3 community collaborative that supports Savannah area families. This initiative promotes life-long learning and community building, encouraging parent involvement and participation in the education of our community’s children and youth. In our advanced society, each of us needs to keep abreast of new and innovative ways of teaching and learning. Parent University has provided a way. Learn more:

About the Savannah Early Childhood Foundation: Established in 2011, the Savannah Early Childhood Foundation (SECF) is a first-of-its-kind 501c3 organization, working to stitch together community resources to ensure that all Savannah children are ready for school. Combining public and private resources, SECF is uniquely focused on helping parents create high quality learning environments for their children starting at birth through age five. In partnership with Parent University and other community partners, SECF has developed and operates multi-session Early Learning College programs for parents in several neighborhoods throughout the city. To learn more about our community-based, parent-centric approach to early childhood development, visit