Education Opportunity Project Spotlight: TrainingGrounds


Voqal believes that the opportunity gap is the most pervasive and damaging problem in the U.S. educational system. The Education Opportunity Project seeks to measurably reduce educational opportunity gaps by providing capital and strategic advice to entrepreneurs and organizations working to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged populations. In this month’s Education Opportunity Project Spotlight, we highlight one of those organizations, TrainingGrounds.

TrainingGrounds helps families and professionals in the New Orleans area create rich learning experiences for children and positive adult-child interactions. TrainingGrounds provides a We PLAY Center where parents and children (3 and under) can grow and learn together by enjoying age-appropriate toys and activities while developing social-emotional skills in a safe play space, learning experience workshops for parents, and professional development training for early childhood educators.

WE PLAY Centers
TrainingGrounds’ “WE PLAY” centers are neighborhood-based spaces filled with age-appropriate toys and activities where caregivers and children ages 0-4 can have quality playtime. These places allow parents to socialize with each other while receiving support for the joys and challenges of raising children.

Parent Learning Opportunities
TrainingGrounds learning opportunities are open to parents and caregivers of children ages 0-5 years. Learning experiences are hands-on, fun, and interactive. They are strength-based, active learning workshops designed to enhance parenting skills and decrease feelings of parental stress isolation.

Professional Learning Experiences
TrainingGrounds professional learning experiences are customized to meet specific learning needs. They work with small to large groups, charter management organizations, early childcare providers, moms’ groups, and more. All learning experiences are strength-based, hands-on, and participatory. Instruction is provided by TrainingGrounds founders Melanie Richardson and Christine Neely who are Louisiana Pathways Certified Instructors and LAPEN Certified Parent Educators and have over 40 years combined experience in education and social work.

At Voqal, we believe in an equitable education system that serves everyone. Organizations like TrainingGrounds are vital to making this a reality. We are honored to be able to support its work and look forward to its continued efforts to make early-childhood education more equitable and accessible.

You can learn more about the Voqal Education Opportunity Project here.