Fidelity Bank Foundation grant funds early childhood education scholarships


The Fidelity Bank Foundation has approved a grant for The Opportunity Project (TOP) to fund Early Learning Center scholarships for children whose parents have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to a match of this gift, 27 children in the Wichita area will be able to access critical education programs despite the financial challenges facing their families.

“Thousands of Wichitans have lost their jobs since the pandemic began,” said TOP Early Learning Centers’ executive director Cornelia Stevens. “Many of those jobs belonged to already struggling parents of young children. Without an income, many of these parents have been forced to pull their children from the safety and stability of their child-care providers, interrupting the child’s early learning routine and oftentimes prohibiting the parent from searching for new employment. Sometimes people just need a little bridge to help get them back on track. We are so grateful to the Fidelity Bank Foundation for recognizing this need and working with us to build that bridge.”

Parents or guardians of children ages one to five may qualify for a scholarship so their child can attend one of TOP’s three early childhood education centers’ full-day, year-round programs if they have been separated from their last job, laid off, terminated, or are currently unable to work due to no fault of their own for COVID-19 related reasons.

“TOP’s early learning program is quite remarkable,” said Clark Bastian, president of Fidelity Bank Foundation. "Their proven approach to achieving school readiness for young children, despite the challenges before them, is heartfelt. We are proud to support TOP’s efforts.”

Parents interested in learning more about TOP Early Learning Centers may call 316-522-TOPS for information. For more information about TOP’s programs, visit