The Future Starts Now

November 16, 2022

Early childhood education (ECE) programs in the Archdiocese of Seattle are thriving. In February 2022, Fulcrum announced the creation of the $6.5 million Early Childhood Education Endowment, thanks to the generous donation by Dick Abrams. 

This endowment, which will fund the Fulcrum ECE Grant Program, will make a world of difference for the 56 early learning programs in Western Washington. 

“We must invest in our youngest students,” said Dick. “The research is indisputable: the biggest educational impact happens with early learners, from birth to age five. It’s my hope that this type of program will spur additional giving and be replicated beyond Western Washington.” 

Children who are part of quality early learning programs have better educational outcomes in elementary school and beyond. These programs also fill a critical need for working families who depend on Catholic schools to provide positive educational environments and bring out the best in their young learners. 

“This endowment will make a powerful difference in the lives of so many children,” said Vivian Shannon, executive director. “We cannot thank Dick enough for his visionary leadership and full-hearted giving. Together, we will make a better future for many young students in the archdiocese.” 

Fulcrum, in partnership with the Office for Catholic Schools (OCS), has already made bold strides in the early education space, thanks to the tireless work of Dave Mayer, the Fulcrum-funded director of early childhood education at OCS. 

Over the past year, Fulcrum and OCS have bolstered ECE leadership through collaborative early learning roundtables, licensed program webinars, grant writing, access to college-level courses, facility expansion management, and a virtual professional development day with over 175 ECE leaders participating. Fulcrum’s ECE Grant Program distributed $36,000 in funds to over 30 programs to meet critical needs in curriculum, programmatic supplies, professional development, and small capital improvements. 

“I am so proud of all the work our school leaders have done and continue to do,” said Dave. “We are working every day to strengthen our programs and create more access to early childhood education. These programs are making a huge difference in the lives of our youngest students.”

This article is from the Fulcrum Foundation 2022 Community Report.