Applied Materials Foundation Invests in AVANCE-AUSTIN'S Early Education Program!!





AVANCE-Austin Partners with the Applied Materials Foundation to Meet the Growing Need in the Manor Community

At-risk families to receive school readiness services

Manor, TX – AVANCE-Austin has been granted $20,000 from the Applied Materials Foundation to extend parent-child education services to at-risk families in the Manor community. The Manor Parent-Child Education Project is a public/private alliance between AVANCE-Austin, Manor ISD, and Applied Materials, amongst others. The alliance aims to improve early education opportunities for underprivileged children, focusing where the neediest children live.

“The Applied Materials Foundations commitment to our most disadvantaged children is an example of a best practice for corporate philanthropy. They recognize that supporting early childhood development isn’t simply charity; it’s an investment in our future workforce and a prevention strategy for crime, teen pregnancy, and youth dropping out of school- all of which have economic and social implications for the larger community. We are grateful for their ongoing support,” said AVANCE-Austin’s executive director, Sofia Casini.

The UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities conducted a year-long research study in 2011, funded by United Way for Greater Austin, which gathered neighborhood data on school readiness within Travis County. The study found only 13 percent of Manor children were Kindergarten ready. Applied Materials largest manufacturing site is located in the Manor Independent School District. Understanding the challenges facing the community, the Applied Materials Foundation, Manor ISD and AVANCE-Austin launched a pilot program in 2012 to address this issue.

During assessments conducted through classroom observation, home visits and developmental screenings, AVANCE’s staff found that a very high percentage of Manor children were significantly delayed, most notably in their social/emotional behavior, motor skill development, speech, and vocabulary. The dual-generation pilot project helped 29 children to become school ready, with enormous gains seen by children in overcoming delays in speech and vocabulary, specifically.  Early intervention put them on the right track to beginning Kindergarten with the tools they need.

Because of early indications of success, the Applied Foundation renewed their support for additional families in 2013.

Casini explains, “AVANCE parents, who are provided the tools to be involved in their child’s education, raise children who are unlikely to experience early academic failure, become disillusioned with school, and drop out. Thanks to the Applied Foundation we can ensure that low-income Latino children – our community’s fastest growing demographic – enter school on an even playing field with their peers and go on to succeed.”

AVANCE’s Parent-Child Education Program is part of a unified initiative addressing overarching challenges facing Travis County. AVANCE participated in the recent development of the School Readiness Action Plan, a 3-year strategic plan United Way of Greater Austin produced in collaboration with early childhood advocates, experts, parents, service providers, and business leaders to transform the early childhood system in Travis County. The plan’s goal is to invest in the future of our community by increasing the total percent of school ready children to 70 percent by 2015, vs. the 50 percent we are at currently. “This funding brings us one step closer to achieving that goal,” Casini said.


AVANCE-Austin is a nonprofit organization dedicated to Unlocking America’s Potential by strengthening families in at-risk communities through effective parent education and support programs. AVANCE was founded in 1973 by a school teacher in San Antonio seeking to address school dropout rates and low educational attainment of Latino children. AVANCE soon grew Statewide, and services were introduced to the Austin community in 1997. After almost 15 years, AVANCE-Austin remains integral to the fabric of Austin’s community, serving low-income, predominately Spanish speaking families who are largely disconnected from the web of resources and support programs offered locally. The overarching goal of the AVANCE-Austin program is to provide the tools necessary for families to thrive educationally and, ultimately, to break the trans-generational cycle of poverty. Connect with AVANCE-Austin on  Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

About The Applied Materials Foundation
The Applied Materials Foundation, a California nonprofit corporation qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, was established in 1994 by Applied Materials, Inc., the global leader in providing innovative equipment, services and software to enable the manufacture of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products. The Foundation’s mission is to make a positive social contribution in regions where Applied Materials employees work and live through philanthropic investments in the areas of education, civic development, arts and culture, and the environment.