Helios Education Foundation: Grants for Early Childhood Education

OVERVIEW: The Helios Education Foundation supports early grade success, college and career readiness and postsecondary success in the states of Arizona and Florida. Early childhood education is funded through its early grade success initiative.

IP TAKE: The Helios Education Foundation supports early childhood education through its early grade success initiative, which invests in programs for children from birth through age eight and prioritizes kindergarten readiness, literacy and teacher development. This funder does not accept unsolicited proposals.

PROFILE: The Helios Education Foundation was founded in 2004 with the proceeds from the sale of the Southwest Student Services Corporation, a student loan company, to the SLM Corporation, which is also known as Sallie Mae. Based in Phoenix, Arizona and Tampa, Florida, the foundation aims to help students in these states succeed in postsecondary education, thereby enriching the lives of all residents. Investing approximately $15 million in education each year, its three main funding areas are early grade success, college and career readiness, and postsecondary completion.

Helios's support of early childhood programming stems from its early grade success initiative, which prioritizes kindergarten readiness and programs for children from birth through age eight. The program aims to improve the quality and accessibility of early childhood programs and bridge early childhood education with grades K-3. Toward these ends, Helios's has supported an expansion of the Read on Arizona program, which provides high quality early literacy programs to young students in Phoenix, Arizona. In Florida, the foundation has funded Early Learning Florida, a "job embedded," bilingual early childhood teacher development program leading to an associate's degree teaching.  

The Helios Foundation operates exclusively in Arizona and Florida. It's early grade success grants range from $100,000 to $3.5 million and generally support large, well-established educational programs in these states. A grants database is available on the foundation's website.

The Helios Education Foundation does not accept unsolicited funding requests. General inquiries may be made via the foundation's contact page.

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