Tri-State educators fostering lifelong success through Learning Grove

Tri-State educators fostering lifelong success through Learning Grove
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 3:08 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Two Tri-State women are working hard to make sure no child or family is left behind by providing innovative and holistic programming.

The Learning Grove started more than 40 years ago to help families in both Ohio and Kentucky; empowering children and their families from birth through graduation to career readiness.

The nonprofit, located on Central Avenue, focuses on early childhood education, family outreach, and college and career readiness.

“We are positioned to intervene as early as possible so everything we do has intention,” Shannon Starkey-Taylor said.

Starkey-Taylor is the CEO of Learning Grove and in August the nonprofit merged with Toney’s Families Forward.

“Great thing about Learning Grove is we know that the programs marry well together,” explained Michelle Toney. “We also know we’re better together with them as well. Because of that, we are very excited at the opportunity to be able to provide true cradle-to-career services.”

Each day, students get individualized care specific to their needs.

Starkey-Taylor says there is also a focus on social and emotional development with each child including nap notes and sweet messages that parents leave for their children.

“What’s written is simple, but powerful,” Starkey-Taylor said. “Like, ‘mommy is thinking about you today and she will think about you all day.’ So, it’s part of our rhythm and process. The kids can also if they’re having a hard time during the day, they can go over and get a picture of their mommy and daddy, grandma dog.”

She says it is those little touches that make a world of difference for the children involved.

Toney says that same level of care is carried out to families as well with resources for job training and employment programs, housing, and other resources like diapers, plus food deliveries to families in need.

“We think it’s really important to make sure you have healthy children; you have to also make sure that you are serving the family,” explained Toney.

Learning Grove has 12 locations in Ohio and seven in Kentucky.

Over the years, they have helped more than 7,000 children and their families.

They say their mission now is to keep growing.

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