2023 Grant Recipient

Backside Learning Center

AWARD: $100,000


PROJECT: Early Childhood Development and Education Program

PROJECT IMPACT: Hiring a coordinator for the new Early Childhood Development & Education Program will allow the BLC to address an acute need within the community: educating parents of children ages 0-4 about the importance of early childhood development and education and encouraging them to enroll in the Program.

Organization Statement: The Backside Learning Center (BLC) is an independent non-profit organization providing support and resources in a safe, welcoming environment for the diverse community of racetrack workers and their families.

Major Recent Successes:

  • In 2022, 1,159 individuals received walk-up services and referrals and 158 adult students were enrolled in our English classes.
  • In 2022, we began a support group for mothers, providing educational workshops and a supportive community for new mothers.
  • We provided free in-house therapy for both youth and adults.

How this funding will impact this organization:  

Made up of over 1,000 people, approximately 85 percent of whom are immigrants from Latin America, the backside population is one that is rich in culture, skill and perseverance. The Backside Learning Center is a comprehensive resource center, providing an array of educational programming, social services and referrals.

Our staff provide support to the entire community of backside workers and families with a variety of walk-up services, among which are translation services, housing support, community financial resources, legal advocacy and referrals, adult English classes, and one-on-one tutoring.  Our youth programming is held year-round, providing after-school programming and tutoring programs as well as summer camp experiences.

This project will address an acute need within the backside community.  A newly hired coordinator for the new Early Childhood Development & Education Program will provide parents of children aged 0-4 with information on early development and education resources and encourage them to enroll.

Our staff and volunteers witness first-hand the long-term impacts that a lack of early childhood education has, as many of the children we serve are significantly below grade level in reading and other core content areas.

The coordinator will work to improve that situation by facilitating workshops with new and existing partner organizations specializing in early childhood education, developing a bi-weekly program/curriculum for parents with children aged 0-2, and creating programming for children aged 2-4 within our existing after-school programming.

Wish List: