CLC has been honored with the 2020 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® Award for Southern Connecticut.

As an awardee, CLC will receive a $200,000 grant, a year of leadership training for CEO, Marc Jaffe and Head Start/Early Head Start Director, Marsha Guthrie who is being recognized as an emerging leader, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand our impact.

Since 2004, Bank of America has invested over $260 million in 50 communities through Neighborhood Builders, partnering with more than 1,300 nonprofits and helping more than 2,600 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills. 

“The health crisis continues to underscore the need for the educational and job retraining programs provided by our 2020 Neighborhood Builders, the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology and Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County,” said Bill Tommins, Southern Connecticut market president for Bank of America. “Throughout the years, Neighborhood Builders has made a lasting impact in local communities across Southern CT and we look forward to seeing how this year’s recipients make even greater strides toward sustainable change in the region to advance economic mobility for all.” 

The Neighborhood Builders program is an opportunity to provide relevant skills development and topics to help nonprofit leaders address current and future community challenges. Each year, Bank of America refines the Neighborhood Builders Leadership Program to include topics ranging from strategic storytelling to human capital management, and highlights themes that are critical to moving the nonprofit sector forward within broader societal and economic context. 

As COVID-19 protocols have increased expenses, the Neighborhood Builders funds will be used to support operational costs including PPE for teachers. It will also be used in developing a Blended Pre-K model (distance learning) with a central goal of family engagement while also providing operating flexibility during the pandemic. This will help CLC continue their vision of building a just future where every child and family thrives because of early childhood education. 

“America’s early childhood system was fragile and operated on razor thin margins prior to the pandemic. Now extended closures and increased operating costs due to COVID-19 coupled with reduced capacity is pushing the early childhood system that working parents rely on, to the brink of collapse,” said Marc Jaffe, CEO of Children’s Learning Centers. “The Neighborhood Builders grant will have a tremendous impact on CLC and the children we serve and will allow us to continue our mission. Thank you, Bank of America, for your partnership!” 

Since 2007, through its Neighborhood Builders© program, Bank of America has partnered with 19 nonprofits in Southern Connecticut, investing $4 million to provide economic mobility opportunities across Fairfield and New Haven counties. The invitation-only program is highly competitive, and leading philanthropic, nonprofit and community leaders participated in a collaborative selection process to identify this year’s awardees. Examples of the leadership training topics include human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling. Neighborhood Builders is just one example of how Bank of America deploys capital in communities, builds cross-sector partnerships, and promotes socioeconomic progress as part of its approach to responsible growth.