Starting at the beginning:

Our focus on children and families

Recognizing that 85% to 90% of brain development takes place from birth to age five, the Rauch Foundation supports programs and policies that support intervention early in life. We commission important research on young children and families, raise awareness of critical policy issues, and award grants to organizations and programs that are creating systemic change on Long Island and beyond.

A better start is a lifetime advantage
As the American Academy of Pediatrics declared in a recent policy statement, “Protecting young children from adversity is a promising, science-based strategy to address many of the most persistent and costly problems facing contemporary society, including limited educational achievement, diminished economic productivity, criminality, and disparities in health.”

Our investments reflect the Foundation’s comprehensive approach. Two research projects we currently support are taking an in-depth look at the quality and effectiveness of services for young children within the region. One being conducted at Teachers College, Columbia University, is studying the quality and accessibility of services in eight communities on Long Island. Another is examining the role of legally exempt childcare throughout New York State. We believe our support of these and other studies leads to smarter public policy and more-informed debate.

We also encourage our grantees to actively communicate their findings to their constituents and the larger public. The Public Policy and Education Fund, a Foundation grantee, is leading an effort to bring education and early childhood advocates together with a common agenda. They have identified and trained community spokespeople, garnered media attention, and created communication tools that are getting broad distribution. Another of our grantees, the Early Years Institute (EYI), recently launched a school-readiness campaign that also incorporates a strong communication component.

These broad communication initiatives and the growing influence of our grantees’ programs, including the national expansion of the Parent-Child Home Program, multiply the impact of our investments on behalf of children and families.

Case Study
The Parent Child Home Program

Every year, the Parent-Child Home Program helps thousands of disadvantaged families prepare their children for a lifetime of learning and school success. What started as a small, smart program on Long Island is now a national model. Read more.

Case Study
The Early Years Institute

The Early Years Institute educates parents, professionals, and the public about the importance of the early years, and brings together community leaders to make bold investments in young children. Read more.

Early-learning investments pay business dividends

How can we produce strong economic results on Long Island right away – as high or higher than investments in construction or transportation – while also building the foundation for a stronger workforce in 20 years?

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Many Children Left Behind

A new batch of five-year olds is headed to Kindergarten this week, carrying with them, along with some jitters, big dreams of success.

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Boosting New York’s Economy

Short- and Long-Term Economic Gains through Quality Early Learning.

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From the Long Island Index

If we want to address the achievement gap in education we need to begin before children enter the Kindergarten door. Quality early childhood education has been demonstrated to have better results at reducing the achievement gap than most any other school reform – and it saves us money.

Long Island Indicators

Clear thinking about
our water: 

Our focus on the environments of Long Island and Maryland

The Foundation’s overarching goals are to restore a healthy environment and improve the quality of life on Long Island and in Maryland. Currently, our specific focus in both locales is on water protection and management.

Long Island

Protecting our sole aquifer

The only source of drinking water for all of Long Island’s 2.85 million residents is its sole-source aquifer system. Since the 1970s, there has been a steady decline in the quality — and in some cases quantity — of Long Island’s water because there is no integrated water management system in place and no central repository for data collected on the aquifer system.

More than any other issue, Long Island’s water management issues highlight the deficiencies of our fragmented “home rule” system of government. We believe that by focusing the Foundation’s resources on the issue of water, we can have a meaningful impact on the ways Long Island manages its water supplies.

Our current efforts build on years of successful environmental work by the Foundation and its grantees. In no small part because of the Pine Barrens Society, Long Island has expended nearly $2 billion to protect over 60,000 acres of environmentally sensitive lands that help to protect the island’s drinking water.


Advocacy and enforcement to improve water quality

Since nearly the entire state of Maryland lies within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, building up effective advocacy groups is critical. Our work in Maryland has concentrated on strengthening grassroots organizations and helping them to engage citizens in pushing progressive water quality and land use policy at the local, state, and regional levels. We have focused local work on Baltimore and the mid- and upper Eastern Shore, and we often take a lead role among other funders in these jurisdictions.

Our efforts have built up small organizations and developed a statewide advocacy presence. Among our most visible success stories is facilitating the creation of Blue Water Baltimore, through the merger of five separate environmental groups.

Today, new EPA regulations are requiring state and local governments to become more focused on water pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, so we believe Blue Water Baltimore and other Foundation grantees will have an unprecedented opportunity to galvanize support and influence policy.

Case Study
Blue Water Baltimore

The Rauch Foundation was instrumental in creating Blue Water Baltimore through the merger of five Maryland watershed advocacy and conservation groups. The participants had all built local identities through years of work, yet they agreed to relinquish their separate identities in hopes of making a greater regional impact. Read more.

Case Study
Long Island Pine Barrens Society

The Rauch Foundation believes that making investments in proven, effective environmental leadership is key to protecting our waterways and Long Island’s sole source of drinking water, its aquifer. Read more.

Suffolk County Septic Systems Polluting Water Supply

Kevin McAllister stands on the dock at Forge River Marina in Mastic and points south, across the cold waters, to the 3.2-mile long tributary’s mouth, where it empties into Moriches Bay.

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States meeting most of TMDL milestones

State and federal Bay cleanup leaders proclaimed in July that — after years of coming up short — their efforts to stem pollution from farms, wastewater treatment plants and urban stormwater systems are finally on the right trajectory to meet cleanup goals for the nation's largest estuary.

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Water Worries

Suffolk Report Documents Decline Without Prescription for Remedy.

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From the Long Island Index

Recent studies have shown that contamination levels are increasing in Long Island's aquifer system, the sole source of drinking water for the region's 2.8 million residents. If steps are not taken to reverse these trends, the financial and health implications for the region could be significant.

Long Island Indicators: What's in the Water?

Working together:

Our focus on regional leadership

Long Island’s fragmented governmental structure can often serve as an impediment to addressing challenges facing the Long Island region. 

The Rauch Foundation launched the Long Island Index to help foster a more regional approach to important issues facing our communities. The Index is now widely recognized as a leading source of objective data about Long Island and is an indispensable resource for the nonprofit, business, and civic communities.

On occasion, the Rauch Foundation has also supported other pioneering regional programs, such as the Energeia Partnership. Such support, however, is rare and at the invitation of the Foundation. We are not currently accepting unsolicited proposals within this program area. 

Case Study
The Energeia Partnership

The Energeia Partnership is a leadership academy at Molloy College, which recruits proven ethical leaders in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors of Long Island and brings them together to network and strategize about new approaches to regional issues. Read more.

The quest for thriving Long Island communities

Following a 20-year career in the corporate world, Dr. Ann Golob came to the Long Island Index seven years ago looking for a change of venue.

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Inter-district and intra-district segregation on Long Island

Long Island has long been recognized as a region with a high degree of racial and ethnic segregation. In fact we rank tenth in the nation in residential segregation between blacks and whites.

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LI Index releases first ever maps of Long Island service providers including special districts.

June 27, 2012

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From the Long Island Index

Long Island's economy is at a tipping point. The region possesses many of the assets needed to create an innovative economy, but its success will ultimately come down to whether or not the Island's myriad sectors can work together to make it happen. Read more.