Cargill donates $2 million to downtown YWCA for early childhood program

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August 18, 2014
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The YWCA of Minneapolis announced today that the Cargill Foundation has donated $2 million for the organization's early childhood education programs.

The organization's children's center at 1130 Nicollet Mall will be renamed the Cargill Early Learning Center in honor of the Cargill grant.

Scott Portnoy, president of the Cargill Foundation, said the foundation is "committed to funding programs that close the achievement gap and improve early childhood education." 

"The YWCA of Minneapolis is a national leader in rigorous, curriculum-driven early childhood education programs and many of our own Cargill employees are beneficiaries of the YWCA's programs and services here in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area," he said.

The YWCA is one of 10 programs across the country recognized with the Engaging Diverse Families award from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, according to the organization. In 2013, 73 percent of the children enrolled at the Downtown Early Childhood Education Center were children of color and more than 50 percent of the children came from families with incomes at or below the poverty level.

Cargill's gift will also be used to support the YWCA's The Power to Soar campaign, which provide funding for a variety of programs, including its Anti-bias Curriculum used by early childhood education programs across the country.