Next Door

2017 Nonprofit Excellence Awards


Nonprofit Collaboration of the Year Award Winner

Next Door

2545 N. 29th St. Milwaukee


In the Milwaukee area, more than 22,000 infants and pre-school age children live in poverty.

Next Door seeks to improve literacy and school readiness for children ages 0 to 5 by working to increase opportunities and close the achievement gap for these children.

Two years ago, Next Door established an Early Head Start Child Care Partnership program with 10 early education organizations operating 12 sites in Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties. The organization received a five-year federal Early Head Start grant to assist with the collaboration.

“We feel we’re doing the most important work in Milwaukee: Getting our youngest learners prepared for success in school and success in life.”

— Tracey Sparrow, president, Next Door

The partnership allows Next Door to expand its educational outreach to an additional 70 classrooms serving a total of 344 infants and toddlers. The 10 sites have adopted Next Door’s “Educare” model that emphasizes embedded professional development, high-quality teaching practices, data utilization and intensive family engagement.

Studies show disadvantaged children in high-quality early education programs like this partnership demonstrate stronger literacy skills, exhibit less challenging behaviors and develop stronger parent-child bonds.

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