Projects Funded by Constellation Philanthropy

Constellation Philanthropy shines a spotlight on the important work of early childhood development.

Broader visibility brings more funders – and more funding – to this arena. The organizations and individuals we fund work tirelessly each day to improve the lives of Colorado’s youngest residents.

The relationship with our funded projects does not end once funding is received and reports are submitted. The conversation and dialogue continues so we are kept up to date on projects, and where we might be able to offer additional support in the way of brainstorming sessions, introductions, or simply just as a trusted sounding board.

We organize our funding portfolio across the Colorado Early Childhood Framework focus areas of Learning & Development, Health & Wellbeing, and Family Support. More recently, we learned that grantees are leveraging our seed funding to build towards the three types of scale; Up, Out, and Deep.

We are always looking for clear, bold ideas offering new approaches, grounded in evidence and research, to help improve the lives of Colorado’s children. If you think you have just the idea we should hear about, please read through our Applicant Criteria page.

  • All
  • Family Support
  • Health & Well-Being
  • Learning & Development
  • Scale Deep
  • Scale Out
  • Scale Up

2020 Mom

2020 Mom, with support from Constellation Philanthropy, worked to develop a toolkit to help doctors, insurers, hospitals, and health care leaders within communities identify appropriate stakeholders to involve in the assessment of local gaps and assets and prioritize work needed at the local level regarding maternal mental health.

After development and implementation of the toolkit in 4 pilot sites, 2020 Mom conducted a follow-up survey to assess the strength of the toolkit. Results demonstrated that the project provided the structure and motivation needed to assess, analyze, and determine action needed to improve maternal mental health at the local level.


Toolkit and pilot communities around maternal mental health

Assuring Better Child Health & Development

Healthy Steps, run by Colorado’s state intermediary ABCD, is the only program of its kind that integrates a child development specialist into a primary care team. Working with physicians and families, the HealthySteps Specialists provide personalized support to families to foster their young children’s healthy development. With support from Constellation members, ABCD hopes to expand these services to two additional sites, providing key developmental services to an additional 3,000 Colorado children.

Expansion of Healthy Steps across the State of Colorado to improve child development.

Boomers Leading Change

Boomers Leading Change (BLC) is a grassroots initiative that recruits, trains and places adults 50+ in healthcare and human services settings with community-based groups to help families navigate the complex healthcare environment. Since 2011, BLC has trained more than 550 volunteers who have served at more than 40 nonprofit partners and delivered 270,000 hours of service valued conservatively at $7.5 million in human capital. Boomers Leading Change is jumping at the chance to provide support to the early childhood workforce crisis that exsits in Colorado.Through funding from Constellation members, BLC will establish a new Early Childhood (EC) Focus Area to help critical human resource shortages in early childhood by recruiting, training and deploying older adults to serve in direct service and capacity-building roles in existing early childhood programs.

Establish a new Early Childhood (EC) Focus Area to help critical human resource shortages in Early Childhood
Bright By Three

Bright By Three

Bright by Three equips families with tools to promote their child's healthy development during the earliest years of life through partnerships with pediatricians, researchers and other child development experts to design program materials in English and Spanish. To integrate the ability to add and distribute content through Bright by Text, which distributes targeted content through partners in the Metro Denver area via text message to engage parents, drive behavior change, and resource linkage.

Through support from Constellation members, Bright by Three piloted this method of content dissemination to families to demonstrate that participating parents had a better understanding of the importance of interaction in child development through this communication method.

Planning and piloting localized messaging through Bright by Text
Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities of Denver (CCD) is the charitable arm of the Archdiocese of Denver. CCD has long served some of the poorest and most in-need communities in Colorado. In recent years as more families with small children fall into poverty and homelessness, CCD has increased its programs targeting the health and welfare of infants and toddlers.

Through support from Constellation members, Catholic Charities is building the infrastructure needed to provide more comprehensive and coordinated mental health services to children in their Early Childhood Education (ECE) sites and across their continuum of care. The funds are being used to support clinicians providing coordination and training of staff as well as mental health services to children and families, and other related costs.

Mental Health system development across EC Sites and Marisol Services

Center for African American Health

The Center for African American Health offers African American and Black Metro Denver communities culturally responsive resources that support them in overcoming the root causes of health problems so they can maximize their individual and family health. Support from Constellation Philanthropy will support implementation of the Strengthening Families Program, an evidence-based, nationally and internationally recognized, family skills training program for families with children birth to three years old and three to five years of age. Support for wraparound community navigation for program participants will also be provided.

Scale of the Strengthening Families program to improve family skills.
Chalkbeat Colorado


Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news network covering educational change efforts and changing the education landscape in the communities it targets. Chalkbeat serves to inform the decisions and actions that lead to better outcomes for all children, especially those in low-income communities.

Through support from Constellation Philanthropy members, Chalkbeat worked to develop their audience to develop meaningful stories that matter to the early childhood community and increase social impact through tracking real-world consequences of their stories.

Chalkbeat Colorado’s expanded coverage of early childhood issues.
Clayton Early Learning

Clayton Early Learning

Clayton Early Learning aims to advance early childhood education through four pillars of work - research, training, practice and advocacy. Clayton promotes equitable access to high quality early childhood education by ensuring optimal development during the critical birth-to-five period for all children, especially those of limited opportunities.

Through support from Constellation members, Clayton Early Learning created, validated, and tested an innovative method called the Clayton School Readiness Index to tell the story of how children’s strengths and challenges contribute to their kindergarten readiness through complex data evaluation.

Clayton School Readiness Index

Colorado Association for Infant Mental Health

The Colorado Association for Infant Mental Health (CoAIMH) is Colorado’s leader in the area of infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH). COAIMH is working to advocate for, expand and educate the infant and early childhood mental workforce professionals pipeline through a practice called Reflective Supervision/Consultation (RS/C). What’s unique about CoAIMH’s endorsement and supervision process is that it is open to any discipline, allowing for the typically narrow pipeline of IECMH professionals to grow and expand, all while keeping a child’s development and relationships at the center of their work. With CP member support, CoIAMH can increase its organizational capacity to provide more professionals, including Spanish speakers across the state, with the opportunity to benefit from the RS/C practice, eventually leading to higher quality care for Colorado’s youngest.

Capacity support of CoAIMH to increase footprint of CoAIMH, particularly with spanish speakers
Colorado Children's Campaign

Colorado Children’s Campaign

Colorado Children’s Campaign’s (CCC) focus is on shaping state-level policy, funding, and legislation in support of children’s health, education, and general welfare. They work through engagement with policymakers, community outreach, and publications and communications targeting both policymakers and the general public.

Through support from Constellation members, CCC worked to engage stakeholders in the creation of policy brief outline key components of an advocacy strategy and investments needed to improve the early learning and development opportunities for Colorado’s youngest children.

Their latest efforts revolve around the upcoming potential changes to Colorado's Preschool Program and the continued conversations around the importance of strong child care & our country's economy. With support from Constellation, Colorado Children’s Campaign is hoping to reimagine preschool in Colorado through a comprehensive community listening project to ensure that potential future revenue is used to create a strong, equitable, and SMART preschool program for Colorado’s children.

Medium-long term policy development and community outreach

Colorado Children’s Healthcare Access Program

Equipping Pediatricians and their practices to be first-responders for maternal depression.

Cooking Matters

Cooking Matters is helping end childhood hunger by inspiring families to make healthy, affordable food choices. Through Constellation support, Cooking Matters, in partnership with WIC agencies, seeks to address food security issues within the refugee population in Colorado through evidence -, strengths-, and community-based nutrition education program with an eye towards statewide scale. WIC & Cooking Matters staff will provide in-grocery-store training to refugee communities in Metro Denver to ensure those entitled to WIC benefits have the skills and knowledge to shop confidently, using foods that are culturally relevant and available. Outcomes from this program will be shared nationally with all WIC agencies to best scale learnings.

Strengthening of Cooking Matters / WIC services for refugee families with young children

Denver Early Childhood Council

Denver’s Early Childhood Council (DECC) serves as a model of best practice for Early Childhood Councils across Colorado, facilitating shared data and resources that reach over 60% of all licensed childcare facilities each year. In Denver alone, their services are critical for thousands of EC professionals seeking training and advancement opportunities, along with licensed early learning programs and many more informal caregivers.

Through support from Constellation members, DECC is developing a workforce marketplace through an expansion of their existing ecConnect data system to create a matching system that will alleviate stress and cost associated with workforce search and placement activities.

Modernizing the substitute system; bringing '' to early childhood
Denver Health Doula Program

Denver Health Doulas

Develop and sustain a community-based doula program that serves vulnerable populations at Denver Health over two years.


Denver Health Montbello Clinic

Montbello Family Health Center (MFHC) is a Denver Health community health center providing a range of medical, mental health, and dental services in a family-friendly manner (weekend hours, language interpretation, a laboratory, and full-service pharmacy).

Through support from Constellation Philanthropy, MFHC is incorporating an early childhood psychologist into their group well-child visits while also adding capacity for data collection, analysis and modeling for financial sustainability. If quantitative data proves the impact of this promising practice, MFHC will be well positioned to seek enhanced reimbursement for behavioral health practices from payor sources.

Support for behavioral support in group well-child visits

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Constellation Philanthropy members awarded the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Art Museum and the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus a 12‐month planning grant for Young Children and Their Adults Learning Together. This grant served to understand how these three cultural institutions could better support learning and parent engagement within the families of young children. This initiative represents a focused effort to ensure that every child who grows up in Denver benefits from the rich learning and cultural resources of
the city.

Through this planning period, these cultural institutes realized the importance of co-creation in program design and planned to implement activities to strengthen community involvement. Efforts include building staff capacity to develop early childhood education fluency and improve staff knowledge and relationships, bridging partnerships with community members to strengthen collaborative planning, and engaging with social service partners to continue collaboration and foster relationships.

Young Children and Their Adults Learning Together - planning grant with DMNS as organizer alongside Children's Museum and Denver Art Museum

Denver Public Library

Creation, implementation, and evaluation of engaging, flexible, early childhood spaces within the family friendly DPL system.
Denver Zoo

Denver Zoo

Nurturing Scientists Through Nature Play is a partnership between the Denver Zoo and area early childhood education (ECE) providers aimed at nature exploration for children, science literacy, and cultivating care for the environment.

Through support from Constellation members, the Zoo is expanding its capacity to support ECE professionals and the children they serve in settings without traditional access to the Zoo.  Based on learnings from Nurturing Scientists Through Nature Play, the Zoo also plans to adapt its existing Outreach Program, to include nature play and best practices in early-childhood learning.

Nurturing scientists through nature play: encourage age appropriate science skills through nature play and exploration, this program fosters children’s connection to animals and the environment while preparing young children for success in the classroom and beyond
Early Milestones

Early Milestones

The Early Childhood Communication Collaborative (ECCC), which was designed by the Early Childhood Leadership Commission, was implemented to raise awareness of the important role parents and caregivers have in child development and find a better way to support and connect with parents and caregivers.

Through grant support from Constellation Philanthropy members, The Early Childhood Communication Collaborative was able to map communication efforts across the state of Colorado to identify gaps. Using information collected from this mapping along with parent/caregiver focus groups, ECCC was able to produce a project report which examines the state of efforts from the perspective of parents, caregivers, and providers and provides recommendations for community stakeholders on how to advance engagement with parents and caregivers concerning early childhood.

Early Childhood Communication Collaborative
Family Resource Center Association

Family Resource Center Association

The Family Resource Center Association (FRCA) works to ensure young children’s healthy development by providing parents with a single point of entry for multiple resources, significantly increasing their families’ chances for success in reaching their goals for positive child development, early educational success, good health, and economic, social, and financial stability. FRCA does this by supporting a network of Family Resource Centers (FRC) to develop, implement and continuously improve a highly effective, methodical approach to supporting families and children.

Through support from Constellation Philanthropy members, FRCA piloted a project to implement the Colorado FRC model and family support approach, which included Implementation Science fidelity protocols and evaluation of processes to ensure effective and consistent family support services.

Colorado Family Resource Centers pilot
Hope House Logo

Hope House

Founded in 2003, Hope House offers teen moms from across the Denver-metro area a free Residential Program in Arvada, Colorado. Hope House also offers a free Community Program with menu-style options that include GED classes, college and career support, parenting and healthy relationship classes, professional counseling, Early Learning and more.

In 2014, Hope House launched a drop-in, part-time Early-Learning Program for the children of the teen moms they serve. Thanks to support from Constellation members, Hope House has had the opportunity to further ramp up their Early Learning Program, specifically implementing TS Gold, which allowed them to better focus on the most important aspects of high quality early childhood education. Constellation also helped Hope House hire a full-time Early Learning Program

Hope House building expansion
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Illuminate Colorado

Illuminate Colorado is a statewide organization dedicated to preventing child
maltreatment and building strong families through education, advocacy, and family support. With a research-based approach, Illuminate works to address systemic and multi-sector issues affecting the wellbeing of children. Data from the 2016 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services revealed that just 3.3 percent of outpatient substance abuse treatment facilities in Colorado provide childcare. Illuminate intends to remove this barrier for families in need through a mobile childcare pilot project. This project will be piloted in two regions with two "baby buses" in order to meet the immediate childcare needs of caregivers accessing substance use disorder treatment. The aim of this project is to decrease barriers to services for families, increase the retention of caregivers in programs, and improve the lives of children and families affected by substance use.

Mobile child care for families seeking substance abuse treatment
Invest In Kids

Invest in Kids

Invest in Kids serves to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable young children and families in Colorado. They implement two programs, Nurse-Family Partnership and The Incredible Years, which focus on working with first-time mothers to improve outcomes and deliver evidence-based programs that promote social and emotional behavior or all children.

Constellation Philanthropy members awarded Invest in Kids a grant in 2015 and a grant in 2017 to support growth of the Incredible Years program in Colorado across multiple years, which included community planning and readiness, and training and coaching for teachers on Incredible Years program components, and adding additional program capacity after program planning was completed.

Incredible Years infrastructure planning and expansion implementation

La Clinica Tepeyac

La Clinica Tepeyac connects working low-income Latino families with affordable, culturally-responsible health care services, and they now serve approximately 5,000 Spanish-speaking adults each year.

Through support from Constellation members, Tepeyac plans to partner with Children’s Hospital of Colorado to provide integrated, patient-centered care for children, including medical, behavioral health, health promotion, dental, and pharmacy services, with a special focus on those under 5, as well as pre/post-natal through Baby and Me classes.

Integrated patient centered care for children

La Piñata del Aprendizaje

La Pinata Del Aprendizaje was born from the minds of Guadalupe Martinez and Blanca Madrid to fill the gap in culturally responsive early childhood development programming for the Latinx population in their home neighborhoods of Globeville Elyria Swansea and Montbello. Support from Constellation Philanthropy will allow La Pinata expand their capacity to serve additional families with this much needed curriculum.

Culturally responsive early childhood development programming for LatinX families


Recent research has shown conversational turns to be one of the most predictive metrics of child outcomes. LENA Grow is an innovative, research-based professional development program for early childhood teachers that uses regular feedback from LENA technology to improve the talk environment in the classroom. In partnership with the Office of Early Childhood, support from Constellation Philanthropy allowed the LENA Grow technology to reach providers within childcare homes throughout the Denver Metro area.

LENA Grow for improving conversational turns & quality of care

Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains

There are over 2,700 refugees in Denver alone, many of which are women with young children. The Pamoja Early Childhood Education program builds a career pathway for women from both Afghanistan and Swahili-speaking countries to ECE. Multiple layers of support are designed to prepare refugee populations to enter the early care and learning (ECE) workforce with success. Support from Constellation Philanthropy will allow Lutheran to increase numbers served and add additional language capacity.

Pamoja Early Childhood Education; an EC career pathway for refugee women

Mercy Housing Mountain Plains

Mercy Housing Mountain Plains is adding a ground floor ECE Center to their innovative mixed-use property development at 8315 E Colfax. This ECE center will be run by the team at Mile High Early Learning. This development is way more than affordable housing; Mercy helps all its families access opportunities to achieve goals, improve their health, and ensure their children have quality educational opportunities for future growth.

Affordable housing development with childcare to add much needed access for families
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Metropolitan State University of Denver

As many as 1 in 3 CO children experience toxic levels of stress and trauma in their lives, and many early education teachers are unprepared in supporting their students through trauma, as well as themselves. MSU-D will leverage their diverse student population and expertise to prepare the next generation of ECE teachers in better addressing the needs of children, particularly of color, who are impacted by trauma through an infusion of Trauma Informed Practices (TIP) into existing curriculum.

TIP-Equity teacher preparation for a well-equipped early childhood workforce

Mile High Early Learning

Mile High Early Learning’s mission is to enable all children in Denver to succeed in school by providing resources and education to inspire a lifetime of learning and self-sufficiency. Mile High Early Learning offers Montessori inspired early learning programs to children considered at-risk due to economic circumstances.

Through support from Constellation members totaling, Mile High Early Learning  supported both professionals beginning their careers as early childhood educators in completing the Child Development Associate (CDA) credentialing program, which helps professionals gain knowledge of development science practices to improve their practice, as well as providing more experienced professionals with Early Learning Leadership residency’s to increase leadership skills and seek higher levels of credentialing to allow for better outcomes for children. Mile High Early Learning also received funding to complete an Early Childhood Workforce Enhancement project to allow research results be put into practice by testing cost effective solutions to teacher retention.

Professional development support for Early Childhood Educators & Workforce Enhancement

National Wildlife Federation

Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is one of the oldest and largest conservation organizations, with more than six million members and supporters. In 2018, NWF engaged 11 million youth and families in nature and outdoor opportunities through Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO). ECHO works with communities across the state to design and implement healthy, natural, and affordable outdoor settings for young children. This ensures that the space is appropriate for not only the children it serves, but the community members as well.With additional funding, NWF will expand ECHO’s reach to publicly accessible places that serve young children cared for by Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) caregivers, such as community centers, nature centers, Family Resource Centers, libraries, or community playgrounds and parks. NWF will engage communities to inform the transformation of theses spaces, and provide landscape design and planning assistance, grants toward installation, and training to activate these sites. In addition, NWF will bring benefits of ECHO to smaller childcare centers and homes that may not have access to the same level of support as larger centers. ECHO will disseminate research-based best practices by engaging with family childcare providers and providing training and incentives to implement the ECHO model at family sites.

Early Childhood Health Outdoors brings thoughtful outdoor play spaces to ALL children
New Legacy

New Legacy Charter School

New Legacy Charter High School provides engaging education to young parents, and the early learning center allows for impact at both generations.

Constellation Philanthropy members awarded New Legacy Charter High School a grant to support the opening of New Legacy’s early learning center.  Through the funding provided, New Legacy can demonstrate growth on comprehensive measures of healthy child development and school readiness, significant growth in parenting skills of students, and knowledge growth of child development and early childhood education. Through this growth and support, teen parents are better motivated, resilient, and responsive.

Opening of Early Learning Center for young parents
Parent Possible

Parent Possible

Parent Possible (formerly known as Colorado Parent & Child Foundation) dedicated to the vision that parents are their child's first and most influential teachers, preparing them for success in school and life. Parent Possible has focused its efforts on promoting and supporting high quality, proven parent engagement programs.

Through support from Constellation members, Parent Possible piloted three Parents as Teachers and SafeCare (PATCSH) programs by providing the support and training necessary to certify supervisors as SafeCare coaches to strengthen home visitation with families determined at-risk for child abuse and neglect. These visits provide families with the protective factors needed to help prevent child maltreatment.

Constellation members provided an additional grant to Parent Possible to fund Raising a Reader, which brings literacy rich materials and curriculum to families participating in existing home visitation programs.

Parents as Teachers and SafeCare Pilot & Raising a Reader

RAFT Colorado

RAFT Colorado gathers unwanted items from local businesses and upcycles them into interesting and unique learning activities that teachers can use in the classroom. RAFT also offers personal coaching, practical workshops, inspiring institutes, and interactive events to help teachers utilize everyday materials for engaging learning opportunities.

Through support from Constellation members, RAFT provided on and off-site professional development in STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math) for teachers of under-served students ages 3-5 years old. Early Childhood teachers who participate in the training are equipped with materials and know-how to immediately implement what they have experienced with their students.

STEM Professional Development and resource sharing

Reach Out & Read

Reach Out & Read Colorado prepares Colorado’s youngest children to success in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. Reach Out & Read also trains doctors and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud.

Through grant support from Constellation Philanthropy members, Reach Out & Read was able to complete a pilot program to test parent engagement using messaging in health clinics, and for program expansion to reach additional low-income children under the age of 6 throughout the state.

Health Clinic Messaging Pilot

RISE Colorado

RISE Colorado aims to end educational inequity through a holistic program that educates, engages, and empowers families and puts them at the forefront of the movement.

Constellation Philanthropy members awarded RISE a 1-year grant to support general operating expenses. During this 1-year period, RISE completed in-school workshops and organized campaigns specifically for refugee communities. RISE also released the If Not Now Report, which was co-written and edited by RISE Parent Leaders. RISE was also able to receive 501c3 status, therefore achieving the great accomplishment of becoming their own entity.

Support for school workshops and campaigns for refugee communities

Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation

Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation (RMCHF) currently supports several programs that enhance the quality of life for pediatric patients and their families in Colorado.  While every parent wants to give their children the best start in life, not every parent is aware of important choices they need to make and the skills they need to develop. During this critical time, RMCHF is committed to supporting parents in Colorado, especially those in disadvantaged communities, through the Best Start Program (BSP) so they can help their babies thrive.

Through support from Constellation members, Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation is delivering education in an online training platform and implementing the use of Baby Boxes, which function as a safe place to sleep and a means to deliver other essential resources and support.

Education and Baby Boxes to support parents and help babies thrive

Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center

Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center (RMCLC) provides education advocacy, caregiver legal representation, domestic violence guardian ad litem services, public policy outreach, and clinical programs such as youth empowerment programs, trauma-informed yoga and a therapeutic garden.

Through support from Constellation members totaling,  RMCLC is targeting low-income or poverty level babies and toddlers (age 0-3) with a Safe Babies Court Team (SBCT) pilot in one county “to improve how courts, child welfare agencies, and related child-serving organizations work together, share information, and expedite services for young children in the child welfare system.” This process will inform the adoption of the model going forward in other counties across Colorado.

Pilot of Safe Babies Court Team to improve services for young children in child welfare system

Rocky Mountain Prep

Rocky Mountain Prep, a Pre-K – 5 school system made up of 4 schools across Denver and Aurora, serves to close opportunity gaps in public school by providing excellent education for all students of all backgrounds.

Constellation Philanthropy members awarded Rocky Mountain Prep a grant to fund the opening of a second pre-K classroom in Southwest Denver. Through the funding provided, Rocky Mountain Prep was able to retain and recruit a top performing Early Childhood Education team and allow for full enrollment on the first day of opening the new classroom. Members also awarded a second grant to support a Network Director of Pre-K, which will serve to strengthen Rocky Mountain Prep’s efforts to propel their vision into the Early Childhood space.

Launch of second pre-k classroom in Southwest Denver
Roots Family Center

Roots Family Center

Roots Family Center is committed to delivering two evidence-based programs: “Parents as Teachers” (PAT) curricula to families with children prenatal to 5, and “Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters” (HIPPY) for families with kids 3-5 years old.

Through support from Constellation members, Roots Family Center received start up funding to cover operating costs and salaries to launch the two home visitation programs that will serve 60 Spanish-speaking children between the ages of birth and 5 years in the Westwood and Barnum neighborhoods of Denver.

Start-up funding: implementing two home visitation programs that will serve 60 Spanish-speaking children between the ages of birth and 5 years in the Westwood and Barnum neighborhoods.
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Safe Families Colorado

Safe Families is an evidence-based prevention solution for families in crisis, helping them get back on their feet and keeping their families intact. The organization connects parents with host families who provide short-term, loving care for children while their parents deal with their crises. In addition, parents are connected with coaches and resources to help make the necessary changes to bring stability to their lives. After advocating for many years to allow operations to move ahead within the State of Colorado, Safe Families will now be allowed to expand their efforts to serve Colorado's children, Support from members will allow Safe Families to operate effectively and scale efforts.

Launch of Safe Families, prevention solution for families in crisis, in Colorado

Sewall & Mental Health Center of Denver

Sewall Child Development Center, one of Denver’s longest-standing inclusive early learning centers and with a strong focus on serving children with significant disabilities, has partnered with Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD) to open a 4-classroom early childhood center on MHCD’s new Dahlia campus, providing comprehensive in- classroom and family supports necessary to support young children with complex learning needs including mental health and behavioral challenges

Through support from Constellation members, Sewell and MHCD increased special education support, deeper behavior management training and coaching for staff, support services for caregivers, support to help families enhance their own systems of care and help to connect families to peer support groups and leadership training.

Sewall & MHCD expansion of education support

Swallow Hill

Swallow Hill Music is a nonprofit community in Denver for musicians and music lovers. They bring people together through their school outreach programming and concerts. It is a home for individuals and families who want to learn about, listen to, and perform music.

Through support from Constellation members, Swallow Hill is expanding the Little Swallows Early Childhood Education Outreach Program, to take the program off-site to seven schools during the 2017/2018 academic year to increase the reach of these music programs for young-people who may not be able to afford classes otherwise.

Expansion of Little Swallows off-site music curriculum for young children

Teach for America – Colorado

Teach For America’s (TFA) vision is that “One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.” The central premise of TFA is that providing an excellent education for all children requires far-reaching systemic change. To accomplish these ends, TFA finds, develops, and supports a diverse network of leaders who expand opportunity for children from classrooms, schools, and every sector and field that shapes the broader systems in which schools operate.

Through support from Constellation members totaling, TFA-Colorado is piloting an early childhood education cohort and a Fellowship program. Fellows will also complete the first year of a two-year Master’s Degree in Education Leadership, and participate in a systems-level experiential learning series.

Pilot of early childhood education cohort and Fellowship
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Think360 Arts

Think 360 Arts for Learning delivers powerful arts experiences grounded in solid pedagogy to schools, libraries, older adult living facilities and other community venues. Through a partnership with Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the arts, which supports over 100,000 children and early childhood educators across the nation and around the world, Think360 will become the statewide affiliate for Colorado to allow for professional development that empowers infant, toddler, and preschool teachers to integrate the performing arts into their classrooms.

Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning programming expansion to Denver

Together We Count

Engaging hard to reach communities through grassroots advocacy to ensure vulnerable children under 5 in Colorado are counted.

University of Colorado Denver

University of Colorado School of Education and Human Development is an innovative School of Education with programs in early childhood at the BA, MA, and doctoral levels at the leading urban research institution of higher education in Colorado. Support from Constellation will allow CU Denver to grow and scale the ASPIRE programming, which is an alternative teacher licensure program, to the early childhood space. This investment allows the first cohort of future, well-prepared ECE providers to start their learning at no cost during a crucial time for the ECE workforce pipeline.

Expansion of CU Denver ASPIRE teacher licensure pathway to early childhood

University of Colorado Dr Sona Dimidjian

Dr Sona Dimidjian is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder and a licensed clinical psychologist. Her research program addresses the treatment and prevention of depression, with a particular focus on the mental health of women during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Through support from Constellation members, Dr Dimidjian developed innovative tools to scale the effective intervention of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for at risk pregnant and postpartum women through a web-based and mobile app called “Mindful Mood Balance” (MMB) and completed an evaluation of the implementation of MMB for mothers.

Mindful Mood Balance for Moms

University of Denver Graduate School of Professional Psychology

Creating a technology-based access point for mental health care for young children and parents, whilst simultaneously training new providers in the limited infant and early childhood mental health space.

University of Denver Morgridge College of Education

The Fisher Early Learning Center at Denver University (DU) opened in 2000 and is a NAEYC accredited, inclusive early childhood center affiliated with the Morgridge College of Education (MCE) at the DU. 20% of the children at Fisher have special needs and are fully included in all programming and classrooms. The Fisher Inclusion Team is considered a community resource and model demonstration site for inclusive design and programming for children 0-5 with and without disabilities.

Through support from Constellation Philanthropy, DU, MCE and Fisher are utilizing Project ECHO, a hub & spoke technology based tele-mentoring system. The system will share Fisher’s best practices with both rural and urban cohorts of educators. This will allow them to identify and implement best practices in addressing challenging behaviors.

Scaling the brilliance of Fisher inclusion teachings across the state

Valley Settlement Project

The Valley Settlement Project is a two-generational approach to improving the lives of families living in poverty in the Roaring Fork Valley. The main goals of this program are to cultivate child school readiness and improve elementary achievement and increase parent economic stability through education and skill building programs.

Through grant support from Constellation Members, Valley Settlement Project was able to retro-fit a new bus to serve as a mobile preschool and document and codify program processes so that other communities can replicate best practices through professional guidance developed through assessment and evaluation.

Mobile preschool program replication

Westminster Public Schools

With support from Constellation Philanthropy Members, Westminster Public Schools (WPS), a small district serving predominantly low-income and minority students, launched a full-day preschool pilot to study the effects of a Pay For Success (PFS) financing structure.  Prior, WPS was only able to offer half-day preschool as a part of the Colorado Preschool Program, which presents challenges for many young, working- and single-parent families.

WPS was able to add 7 new full-day preschool classrooms with grant dollars which are partially recoverable, based on outcomes linked to cashable savings, as verified by a rigorous evaluation.  The desired aim of the project is to follow three cohorts of pre-k students through third grade, in search for evidence of persistent effects of early childhood investment in the longer-term.

Full Day Preschool Pay For Success Pilot
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Wildflower Schools Flamelily

Wildflower Schools is a network of teacher-led micro-Montessori preschools launched from the community, for the community. A young entrepreneur hopes to bring a Wildflower Preschool to Aurora. The target area is a child care desert where the majority of migrant families and black and brown children in the metro area live. The Wildflower Montessori model would allow these families to receive licensed preschool in a culturally responsive setting with a methodology of early childhood teaching that should feel innately familiar. Support for Wildflower’s Flame Lily school will provide the start-up costs required to open the new school this Fall. This school will be one of many new spaces Wildflower hopes to open in communities lacking licensed childcare.

Launch of Flamelily preschool in Aurora to deliver Montessori programming