For Immediate Release

Discovering and Documenting a Successful Approach to Education

Press Release,

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Funds Request from the Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center

The Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center has initiated a project that will gather data, document and report it as evidence supporting the success of their programs, practices and approach. The objective is to identify philosophies and practices that result in greater student achievement and engagement, deeper family involvement and a more stable staff dedicated to the health and success of the school.

“Our main objective is to analyze our practice and share our findings with fellow educators, families and communities, beginning with Grand Rapids” sites Erin Melcher, Principal. “We have already begun to reach out nationally to other Reggio–inspired schools in an effort to push our practice forward and connect with our colleagues across the country and beyond.” This two year project has been funded by a $200,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

This project is important because public and charter schools are searching for the innovation and practices that will stimulate improved performance and outcomes for students. Public schools, in general, are looking for ways to create sustainable neighborhood schools for overall community health and economic growth.

“It is our understanding that this kind of research and documentation of a school dedicated to the Reggio Emilia approach hasn’t been done,” says Board President Lorissa McAllister. “We are experiencing this excitement everyday as we watch our children become more and more invested into learning and are eager to share this option with others.”

“The timing is perfect” agreed Executive Director, Doreen Bolhuis. “The CDC has worked hard over the last year to create operational standards and systems that support their approach for learning; educational excellence and operational success go hand in hand.”

Expected Project Outcomes:

  • Phase 1: Reinforce the foundation, expand the mission of the school.
  • Phase 2: To fully integrate the community into our school.
  • Phase 3: Become a model for school reform; sharing our approach.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa. For further information on the foundation, please visit


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