ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) - Boeing is making a big investment in the future of Normandy schools. The company awarded a $150,000 grant to an organization dedicated to early childhood education in the district.
The grant to Beyond Housing will help more than a dozen pre-k providers within the Normandy School District boundaries get a leg up on improving the district by making sure more young minds are ready to go the day they hit Normandy halls.
More than 100 kids come through the doors of Brighter Day Care and Pre-School every day.
"Many of our children have one parent in the home, and they come with a set of standards," said owner Sharon Phillips-Williams. "And I think oftentimes the parents think well you're not going to do anything but babysit them."
But the teachers are preparing them for kindergarten. Sharon Phillips-Williams says grants from Beyond Housing ease her burden.
"Some months if I just break even, if my expenses equal what my income was, I consider it was a good month," she said.
Beyond Housing partners with United 4 Children on Programs Achieving Quality. They go into pre-schools in the 24 municipalities that make up the Normandy school district and help any way they can.
"We go in and we provide technical assistance, professional development," said United 4 Children Executive Director Dawn Winkler. "We even provide mini grants so they can buy the things that they don't really have to make sure they're sustaining in high quality."
Boeing's latest investment enables United 4 Children to help more providers, and expand what they already do with the ones they're working with now.
"It builds a more effective, more efficient, and more robust pre-k delivery system in the boundaries of the Normandy school district, so we first and foremost position our kids for long-term success," said Beyond Housing President and CEO Chris Krehmeyer.
Something Boeing officials say is good for everyone in this region.
Krehmeyer says the investment stems from Boeing shifting the way it uses its dollars to have the greatest impact.
"...And when you look at the pre-k space, and in a district like Normandy that's struggling, their belief was wow if we can strengthen the pre-k in a significant way, we're going to help this part of the st. Louis region get stronger and healthier."
A Boeing spokesman tells us they know the success of the individual starts with early education, and they know investing in this type of improvement can make huge impact in the community in the future.