First Five Years Fund
In December of 2011, the Department of Education was set to announce recipients of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (ELC) Grant. And before the end of the year, Congress was going to decide if and by how much they will fund the ELC in FY2012. Ideaction worked with FFYF to craft and execute a communications strategy to leverage the announced winners - and those that did not win - to help bolster the case for renewed funding of the ELC.
To do this, we focused on rallying the States themselves to help us communicate the accomplishments to-date, convey the value and make the case for continued funding for the Early Learning Challenge. We helped them help us. We built a robust online Early Learning Challenge Communications Toolkit that included planning aids, templates, key messages and outreach tactics. For each and every state that applied for ELC grants, we crafted a template press release for them issue if they won, and if they did not. We developed relevant content the media could use: background materials, infographics, and state-by-state data points and state highlights. We kept up the momentum by hosting tele-briefings for states, consistent blog posts and e-blasts with new tools and breaking news.
In the end, we rocked it. Nearly 100 press clips, nationally and across 25 states. Congress included, and increased, funding for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (ELC) Grant. The work of FFYF has been instrumental in securing nearly $1billion in funding for this innovative program to provide a strong start for our nation’s youngest children.