On Thursday, October 30, the Appleton Education Foundation (AEF) welcomes Jeff Snell, Ph.D., to speak on social innovation and its relationship to investing in early childhood education. Through his presentation, Snell will explore what it means to create social value by addressing root causes of social problems – a key aspect of social innovation – and relate it to the importance of new Community Early Learning Center of the Fox Valley (CELC), which recently opened September 2. The program will begin at 7 p.m. at the Community Early Learning Center.

Snell is the founder of Midwest Social Innovation LLC and co-founder of Midwest Consortium for Social Innovation, a regional platform to promote cross-sector, enterprise-based solutions to social problems – a departure from conventional charity approaches. A past recipient of the Patriot Award, he is an Appleton East High School alumnus and earned his doctorate from Marquette University, where he received a Distinguished Alumni Award and was elected to Alpha Sigma Nu, the international honor society for Jesuit colleges and universities.

Doors will open to the public at 6 p.m. for an open house of the center. CELC board members and staff from CELC partners will be on hand to explain this community initiative. The CELC board is led by president Jon Stellmacher. Partners include Project Bridges, Appleton Area School District’s Birth to Five Program, Outagamie County Birth to Three, UW-Oshkosh Head Start, and Even Start Family Literacy.

“The Appleton Education Foundation is pleased to continue offering free community learning opportunities for adults to increase knowledge of early childhood education,” said Julie Krause, AEF executive director. “In spring we had an interactive program about using music and rhythm to teach and engage young children, now we will take a more philosophical look at why investing in early childhood education is so important.”

The Community Early Learning Center of the Fox Valley is located in the former Catholic Central Elementary School at 313 South State Street. Street parking is available on State and 7th streets. Additional parking for this event is available behind the center and can be accessed from both 7th and 8th streets.

This is the eighth consecutive year that the AEF will host a free community education program focusing on the education of children from birth to age five.

This presentation, free and open to the public, is designed to help Fox Cities parents, educators, daycare providers, community advocates, and decision makers gain greater insight into the critical need for early childhood education.

Review past Community Education Speakers on the AEF website.

The Appleton Education Foundation, a supporting organization of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, has awarded more than $3.5 million in grants since its founding in 1997.  Grants provide accessible, flexible funding for creative and innovative programs not covered by the school budget.  For more information, please call (920) 832-1517 or visit