Joelle-Jude Fontaine, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

TITLE: Program Officer

FUNDING AREAS: Family literacy, early education providers, whole child development

CONTACT: joelle.fontaine@wkkf.org, (269) 968-0413

IP TAKE: Fontaine is a longtime W.K. Kellogg Foundation program officer, with the majority of her grants going to early ed providers and family involvement projects. Her work at Kellogg deserves the attention of fundraisers throughout the country.

PROFILE: Joelle-Jude Fontaine has etched a niche out in her grant-making at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, awarding millions to early ed groups throughout the country with specific focuses in three key areas of Kellogg's education giving: Whole child development, innovative early education and family literacy.

As of late, family literacyor programs that seek to educate families and caregivers in child development principleshave received a lot of attention from Fontaine. Many of these programs have had aspects of whole child development and early education included as well.

For instance, a $300,000 grant to the Detroit-based Living Arts helped provide training for families and educators in the latest arts integration practices in early education. Although the major focus was on family literacy, arts integrationa cutting-edge education theorywas also a crucial element of the grant. Another example would be Fontaine’s longtime grant-making partnership with DC Action for Children Today.

A $500,000 grant went to a group to support a parental engagement project in two D.C. low-income communities. One commonality between these two examples: Both strive for collaboration between education stakeholders. Whether it’s collaboration between city agencies, or between educators and parents, Fontaine’s grants seem to unite many different groups around a common issue.

It’s hard to single out just a few areas that Fontaine funds. In addition to whole child, early ed and family literacy, she’s also made grants in education advocacy, which is another area of Kellogg's education program.

An example would be a 2013 grant for $600,000 to the National League of Cities Institute. Again, collaboration was a major theme. The grant supports a program that will align city leaders in Washington, D.C. around early education, provide technical assistance and strengthen the group’s ties to federal and state policy makers.