With a three-year grant from Ben and Betty Davenport of First Piedmont Corporation, Patrick & Henry Community College will continue the work associated with the successful Davenport Institute – a program that aims to improve the quality of early childhood education in Southwest Virginia by attracting and training highly skilled childcare workers.
In pursuit of this aim, the Davenport Institute provided scholarships, mentoring, professional networking opportunities, and more for those in early childhood education programs at participating Virginia Community Colleges. P&HCC was one of these participating colleges when the Davenport institute was founded in 2016. This latest donation by the Davenports allows P&HCC to continue this essential work in the communities served by the college.
“We are imminently grateful for the confidence shown to P&HCC by Ben and Betty Davenport. The creation of the original Davenport Institute proved to be transformative for early childhood education providers in our communities, and these additional resources will allow us to scale this work and continue to provide a high-quality education for students who have a passion for this critical field.”
After launching the Davenport program, participating colleges saw the completion rates of their Early Childhood Education programs rise by 74 percent. Since 2017, P&HCC has had 38 students complete an Early Childhood Education program, helping to fill the pipeline in an area noted for significant workforce shortages.
By providing funding as well as intensive professional development and mentoring, the Davenport Institute increases both access and success for teachers of young children. Ultimately, by investing in future early childhood educators, the Institute is investing in the quality of early education throughout Southern Virginia.
“We are proud of the work P&HCC is doing to help create the opportunity for a future better life for many children,” the Davenports said. “The God-given assets our children have at birth need to be nurtured.”
For P&HCC, the recent announcement renewing the college’s grant for another three years means that the college can continue providing the intensive support and professional development to future educators that the Davenport Institute created.