The journey to providing cradle-to-career educational support to all families in Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky accelerated as two Cincinnati-area nonprofits announced they are merging. The boards of Learning Grove and FamiliesFORWARD voted to merge services during meetings Aug. 22.
Learning Grove has provided high-quality educational services in the region for more than 40 years by supporting quality learning experiences so children and youth can reach their full potential. FamiliesFORWARD, since 1993, has served diverse communities in Cincinnati as a neighborhood-based resource center for schools, students, and families. Currently, its After-School Program serves Bond Hill Academy of Math and Science Discovery, Carson School, Hays-Porter School, and Withrow University High School.
“Learning Grove focuses predominantly on early care and education and Navigo, which is a college and career readiness initiative. By joining with FamiliesFORWARD, a legacy organization that provides enrichment programs for families in key communities, we will be able to offer critical services for a true cradle-to-career continuum” says Shannon Starkey Taylor, CEO of Learning Grove. She adds: “This merger is about impact. Together, Learning Grove and FamiliesFORWARD can make a significantly greater contribution to the success of children and families in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.”
According to H. Michelle Toney, executive director of FamiliesFORWARD: “This partnership is good for the long term sustainability of FamiliesFORWARD and the families we serve. The only change that will occur with the partnership, is that our programs will be enhanced due to more back-end support and more families will have access to them.”
Learning Grove will be the lead organization, providing administrative support to expand FamiliesFORWARD’s mission and service reach. Toney will join the executive-leadership team of Learning Grove.
Together, the agencies have served more than 5,000 children and youth in their education programs annually. Both agencies’ programs help children and families prenatally through college-and-career readiness using holistic and innovative programming. Their most well-known services include early care and education, resource coordination, before- and after-school care, parenting supports, professional coaching and college/career planning.
Both organizations will continue operating under their current names, logos and brands.
FamiliesFORWARD, whose roots date to 1875, is a neighborhood school-based resource center for students and their families, and the community. Currently, our After-School Program serves Bond Hill Academy of Math and Science Discovery, Carson School, Hays-Porter School and Withrow University High School. We encourage, support and teach parents to be the best that they can be as they help their children become better students and ambassadors for their neighborhoods.
About Learning Grove:
Learning Grove, a nonprofit serving Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky, provides research-based educational services prenatally through college and career. To learn more, visit www.learning-grove.org.
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