Why it Matters

Investing in education is a proven pathway to greater economic opportunity and financial security. But a decades-long decline in social mobility has created a stubborn opportunity gap for kids who aspire to attend college but face financial and other barriers. The jobs of today and tomorrow require education beyond high school, and will typically pay more and offer careers with advancement opportunities. Furthermore, there is a correlation among attaining education beyond high school and earning more, being healthier and achieving higher levels of civic engagement, such as volunteering and voting.

Desired Outcomes

  • Early literacy among young children improves
  • More lower-income youth continue education beyond high school through certificate and degree programs
  • More adults complete degree and certificate programs that help them more fully participate in the economy

Early Childhood Development

Investments in high-quality early childhood programs can help close the achievement gap and produce life-changing benefits for children, families and communities. Our support of early childhood programs began in 2012 and extends across the region, helping to improve early literacy among children from birth to age five and build school readiness where it starts: the home.


Parent-Child Home Program: An evidence-based early literacy, parenting and school readiness program, PCHP helps families develop skills they need to prepare their children for success in school. We fund the program in partnership with school districts and health care and social service providers in Berkshire County.

Reach Out & Read: This proven program promotes the positive impact of reading daily and engaging in language-rich activities with young children. We fund three medical providers to conduct the program as part of routine visits with historically underserved families in southern Berkshire County.

Talk, Read, Sing Columbia: We support a five-year effort to increase community knowledge about early literacy and strengthen early education opportunities for young children and families in Columbia County. Two grantees and nine partners have launched a public awareness and action campaign that motivates parents to talk, read and sing with their children.

Northwest Connecticut Child Care Initiative for Early Language Development and Literacy: We support seven child care centers as they share strategies for delivering high-quality, research-based instructional practices that enhance children’s language and literacy skills and prepare them for kindergarten. Support includes coaching and consultation on the state’s early learning and development standards and tailored professional development.


Free books distributed to Berkshire County families


Home visits conducted to boost early literacy and parenting skills in Berkshire County


Children and adults engaged in early literacy programs in Columbia County


Child care centers sharing learning and best practices in the Northwest Corner

The Talk, Read, Sing campaign to boost early literacy is on display at sites throughout Hudson and around Columbia County.

  • Central Berkshire Regional School District
  • Child Care of the Berkshires
  • Community Health Programs
  • Hoosac Valley Regional School District
  • Macony Pediatrics

  • Columbia Opportunities (Co-lead)
  • Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood (Co-lead)
  • Catholic Charities
  • Child Care Connections
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Friends of Hudson Youth
  • Future Hudson
  • Hudson Area Library
  • Kinderhook Memorial Library
  • New Lebanon Library
  • Roeliff Jansen Library

  • EdAdvance
  • Canaan Child Care Center
  • Cornwall Child Care Center
  • Falls Village Day Care
  • Housatonic Child Care Center
  • Kent School Early Learning Center
  • Sharon Day Care
  • Warren Church Community Childcare and Preschool

College and Career Readiness

Berkshire Taconic is investing in programming designed to prepare students for a successful transition from high school to college or career.

By connecting students to local employers and certificate programs, we aim to increase their employability and earning potential, while building a skilled workforce to support local economies.

Our Partners

  • Columbia-Greene Community College
  • Greenagers
  • Hudson Area Library
  • Hudson Hall
  • Kite’s Nest
  • MassHire
  • North East Community Center
  • Operation Unite
  • Railroad Street Youth Project


Total grants awarded for workplace skills development and training for historically underserved youth by our Fund for Columbia County


Number of high school students participating in structured internships in southern Berkshire County