Taveras, Providence win big national contest for $5 million innovation grant

Mar 13, 2013

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has some great news to announce today: Providence city government has won a $5million grant from the Bloomberg  Philanthropies for a program known as the `Mayors Challenge.’

Taveras has won some love from the New York Times for the grant that is administered by the foundation established by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which oversaw the contest.

The Times says that four other cities, Houston, Chicago, Santa Monica, California and Philadelphia, were finalists. More than 300 cities competed for the innovation grant.

Taveras won for his idea to use technology to track the number of words that children under age 5 are exposed to each day. The idea is to improve childhood literacy.

``As cities are seeing cutbacks,’’ Taveras told the Times, ``it’s critically important to create innovation.’’

Mayors Bloomberg and Taveras have scheduled a conference call with reporters later today to talk about the program.