Announcing the Early Childhood Education Fund

October 29, 2020

In partnership with the Seattle Foundation, Dick and Sharon Abrams established the Fulcrum Early Childhood Education Fund in December 2017. Ever since the Abrams developed the West Coast Paper Scholarship Fund 15 years ago, they have been inspired by the impact that academic scholarships have had on the lives of young people. Nearly a decade ago, the couple started discussing creating another fund, also focused on education—a personal passion. They began talking with educators and parents to better understand how a new type of fund could be best used. Without exception, everyone agreed that investing in early education would yield critical results.

The Abrams partnered with the Seattle Foundation to increase awareness of the Fulcrum Foundation and to encourage support of their newly created endowment. Through this process, Dick and Sharon came up with the Fulcrum Early Childhood Education Fund, “If we are going to help society in general, across the spectrum of financial need, ethnicity, and more, Catholic schools are leading the way.”

“In Catholic schools, students are given an anchor in life—a moral compass,” says Dick Abrams. “Religion is important to us personally, but it is not the reason that we feel so strongly about Catholic school systems. You do not have to be Catholic to attend and benefit.”

The Fulcrum Early Childhood Education Fund will focus on tuition assistance, facilities grants, assessment programs, teacher education/certification training, curriculum materials, and toddler programs.

Kaitlyn O’Leary, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, Early Learning, Government Programs, for the Office for Catholic Schools states, “The amount of data indicating the positive effects of early childhood education on children’s physical, mental, and emotional health as well as economic security and overall success later in life is astounding. Investing in early childhood education for our archdiocesan schools will not only help our schools better prepare students for kindergarten, but will yield fruits well beyond students’ early years. I am so excited to expand the Catholic early education options available to families in western Washington. This fund will allow us to open more early childhood programs, expand existing programs, and continue to strengthen and enhance our programs, grounding them in our Catholic faith.”

For more information about the Fulcrum Early Childhood Education Fund or how to contribute to the endowment, please contact Conne Bruce at 206.748.7989 or