The North Lawndale site of the Carole Robertson for Learning at 3701 West Ogden Ave. | Courtesy Carole Robertson Center for Learning

A nonprofit that helps provide services and support for young people on the West Side was recently awarded a five-year, $20 million federal grant. 

Officials with the Carole Robertson Center for Learning announced on March 19 that the nonprofit had been awarded the Early Head State Expansion grant from the Administration of Children and Families. 

The nonprofit provides early childhood services to families in 16 Chicago communities, including Austin and North Lawndale. The grant will allow the nonprofit to provide early head state and preschool readiness services to 185 additional infants, toddlers and pregnant women, Carole Robertson officials explained. 

“This funding gives us an opportunity to serve more Chicago children and families and provides critical early learning programs in a child’s earliest years to prepare for preschool,” said Carole Robertson Center for Learning CEO Bela Moté. 

“Early Head Start programs and services have always been essential for families in the communities we serve,” she said. “So many here are essential workers who continue to support economic recovery for all, and we’re proud to put grants such as this to work for them.” 

Currently, the Carole Robertson Center serves more than 1,000 children across its 16 different target communities. 

Officials said that the grant will allow the Center to “hire and train new staff members and partners. 

Funding covers startup needs, such as new infant rooms, furnishings for outdoor environments, and fire protection systems, and training and technical assistance. Funding is awarded on an annual basis and continuation is subject to annual review,” officials explained in a statement released March 19. 

According to its 2019 annual report, the most recent one provided on its website, the Carole Robertson Center has an office at 3701 W. Ogden Ave. in North Lawndale, where half of the children it serves are located. 

The Center is named for Carole Robertson, one of the four little girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. 

For more information on the Center, click here.