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Beech Brook has been awarded a $328,382 Strong Start grant from the Eva L. and Joseph M. Bruening Foundation to support a major expansion of its S.T.E.P.S. program, announced Tom Royer, Beech Brook president/CEO.

S.T.E.P.S., which stands for Security, Touch, Eyes, Play and Sound, is a research-based program which supports early brain development by teaching parents simple, enjoyable and purposeful interactions and techniques which have been shown to have a positive impact on cognitive functioning, says Royer.

The funds, to be awarded over three years beginning July 1, will allow Beech Brook to increase the number of participants served at its Family Drop-In Center and other community agencies, including the Friendly Inn Settlement; Boy and Girls Club at East Tech High School; child care centers in the Central and surrounding neighborhoods; several CMHA residential complexes, Family Promise; and MetroHealth Boot Camp for New Dads.

“I am very grateful to the Bruening Foundation for supporting the expansion of Beech Brook’s S.T.E.P.S. program,” says Royer. “Prevention and early intervention programs such as S.T.E.P.S. have a lasting, positive impact not only on how one individual child develops, but on every generation that follows. If we want to have a lasting impact on our community, we must move further upstream as providers and prevent problems before they begin. The process of becoming a responsible, successful and contributing adult does not start at age 18. It starts from the very beginning, in the home, with good parenting.”

Beech Brook’s goal is to increase the number of participants to 2,200 parents and 2,100 children aged 0-3 during the three-year grant period. This is a significant increase over the 525 children and parents being served this year.

“At the Bruening Foundation, our goal with the Strong Start initiative is to ensure all children in Cuyahoga County get the strongest start in life,” says Tom Wagner, Distribution Committee chair for the Bruening Foundation. “We are pleased to support the important work of Beech Brook in helping vulnerable families support their child’s early development. We are excited about the partnerships Beech Brook is developing with other agencies to bring the S.T.E.P.S. program to a growing number of families in the community.”

Beech Brook provides a wide range of community-based programs including:

  • Early childhood services
  • Parent education and support
  • Child abuse prevention and early intervention
  • Foster care
  • School-based mental health services
  • Family preservation and intensive home-based treatment
  • Outpatient therapy
  • Mentoring
  • Comprehensive sex education
  • Seminars for divorcing families

Beech Brook’s headquarters is located at 3737 Lander Rd., Pepper Pike. The agency also provides services at its Family Drop-In Center, located at the Carl B. Stokes Social Services Building, 6001 Woodland Ave., Cleveland.

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For more information:
Nancy Kortemeyer
Senior Director of Marketing & PR
216.831.2255
nkortemeyer@beechbrook.org

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