Mosaic Family Center Opens Early Learning Center and Partners with Harlem Children’s Zone

When David and Kelly Kaiser arrived in Toledo’s Old South End 16 years ago, they established a school in the former Western Avenue Baptist Church in an effort to address the poverty and difficulties local families were experiencing. 

This decision the Kaisers made to open a school for local residents marked the start of a more extensive project to develop a holistic approach to neighborhood revitalization. As stated in Mosaic’s resources, Mosaic’s work with families in poverty takes place over the “course of a lifetime” as “low-income families need a variety of support from the birth of a baby to, and lasting until, the child achieves meaningful employment.” 

This long-term perspective on combating poverty is what underlaid the founding of Baby University, the first phase of Mosaic’s education program. Since opening 12 years ago, Baby University has seen 900 parents graduate with a firm understanding of the “three-step-process” which includes reading to children every day, learning to discipline in productive ways, and getting appropriate healthcare and coping with stress in healthy ways. 

More recently, Mosaic’s commitment to helping local families in poverty has been reflected in renovations of its Early Learning Center, which has been under development for 18 months. The improved Early Learning Center will feature lower student-teacher ratios, and higher wages to ensure high-quality interactions between students and teachers. Primary support for renovating the Early Learning Center included a fundraiser that was a part of the Historic South Initiative, and private funding Mosaic secured totaling $1 million. 

Mosaic’s model for helping families throughout their children’s adulthood is modeled after the work of Geoffrey Canada, founder and president of Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) in New York. This relationship between the two organizations was recently formalized through a partnership between HCZ and Mosaic Family Zone. The partnership is just one of four that HCZ has approved across the nation, and it will enable Mosaic to continue its fight against poverty through efforts such as rent/utility assistance, one-on-one mentorship for GED preparation, and child/teen mentoring for families. Learn more about Mosaic and their mission by visiting their website here

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