Kathy Pratt LeGrow established the Jimmy Pratt Foundation in memory of her younger brother Jimmy.
Jimmy was born in 1949 and was diagnosed in childhood with myotonic muscular dystrophy and intellectual disabilities. His parents Ewart and Yvonne Pratt—a prominent couple in St. John’s—strongly advocated for Jimmy’s inclusion in family life, in school and in the community.
As a result, Jimmy flourished. From childhood, Jimmy was determined, thoughtful and caring. After being schooled in St. John’s, Montreal and Pennsylvania, Jimmy went on to work at the Grace Hospital in St. John’s for over 25 years. His friends and family remember his sharp sense of humour, his confidence and his love of music.
Jimmy’s life is a testament to the power of inclusion, love and community support in the lives of children—especially children who face adversity. The Foundation’s work is guided by Jimmy’s legacy in its advocacy for all children in Newfoundland and Labrador, their right to
a great start in life and to be people they were born to be.
Early Childhood Education is a cornerstone of resilience and is where the Foundation focused the first decade of its work. As a member of the national Early Child Development Funder’s Working Group, the Jimmy Pratt Foundation contributed to the production of Early Years 3, a document consolidating the evidence for universal, publicly funded Early Childhood Education. Building on this national initiative, the Foundation convened professionals from government, academia and beyond to advocate for full-day kindergarten in Newfoundland and Labrador. With input from the Jimmy Pratt Foundation, the provincial government implemented full-day kindergarten in 2015.
The Jimmy Pratt Foundation has published three discussion papers on the early years in Newfoundland and Labrador: “The Early Years Last a Lifetime” (2013), “Growing Education Down to Include the Early Years” (2014), and “Let’s Get it Right! Early Childhood Education for the Next Generation” (2022).
The Foundation’s advocacy for full-day kindergarten earned it a respected position as a con- venor in the child and youth-serving sector in Newfoundland and Labrador, and through sub- sequent changes in provincial government and policy directions, the Foundation has contin- ued its advocacy for children and youth at risk.
Newfoundland and Labrador is a place where all children and youth will thrive, even in the face of adverse circumstances.
What we do
The Jimmy Pratt Foundation will support research, policy development and inform public policy that supports the resilience and flourishing of children and youth in Newfoundland and Labrador.
How we do it
Children and youth are at the center of all that we do. We strive to conduct our activities with: Independence, Collaboration, Equity and Evidence-Informed Practice
Areas of focus
Early Childhood Education, Prevention and Child Protection