Hot off the heels of the Steve Nash Foundation Showdown NYC, a benefit for Educare Arizona, we're gearing up for a hot time in Phoenix, showing interested folks from around the country what this model of excellence looks like, how it operates, and what it could mean to other communities in the U.S.
And what's the latest at Educare Arizona?
This past school year, the classrooms, Balsz Educare Arizona Center for Health, hallways, and courtyard have been utilized to their fullest with our exceptional programmatic leadership maximizing resources to ensure best practices and outstanding outcomes. Some updates:
Spring has sprung at Educare Arizona!
I say this over and over: I love spending time at Educare Arizona. And last week was no exception, as we hosted Educare philanthropists, leaders, teachers and staff from across the Educare Learning Network, from Washington (DC) to (Seattle) Washington, in Phoenix. Welcoming such a diverse and inspiring group was another highlight in our path here. With speakers like Adele Diamond, food by the amazing Vincent (and his family), and policy updates and strategy sessions lead by Kris Perry at the First Five Years Fund and more experts from the Network, the week flew by.
At a time when budget cuts are slashing opportunities away from children that need them most, Educare Arizona stands as a model of what early childhood education and experience can and should look like. All children can thrive in environments that understand the physical, social and emotional needs of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. All children should have access to safe, beautiful, purposeful spaces to explore, learn, grown and be.
Spring's spirit and colors have emerged on the walls and throughout the hallways of Educare Arizona. In addition to the marvelous creations the kids have worked up (check out their "Art-chitecture" art project below), our new "Faces of Educare" photo exhibit - made possible by a generous grant from a local family - tells the story of the joy, pride, and sense of accomplishment Educare kids feel. As much as we see it in their expressions, Steve and I feel it for the many supporters out there that have made Educare Arizona a reality, and hope you feel it, too: joy, pride, and accomplishment. You did this.
Take a look at the photos below, and please come see in person what you've helped to create. Thank you for your support, and for all you do. It matters.
With hopes for a peaceful spring,
Jenny (& Steve, from Orlando)
Another school year at Educare Arizona!
I think everyone's job should include a performance of I Don't Know Why She Swallowed That Fly, sung and acted out in front of sets the kids made themselves, in the middle of a beautiful courtyard designed specifically for young learners. More importantly, I think everyone under the age of five should get the opportunity to sing, dance and play in a purposeful space, guided by highly trained teachers, in a well-structured day that includes great nutrition, kindness, and quality care.
As I spend more time around the staff, teachers, children and parents at Educare Arizona, the connection between place, program and policy is ever-present, and so meaningful: as the country braces for cuts to spending on social programs, Arizona has already eliminated the childcare subsidy, leaving children of low-income parents without the best resources to start their lives as learners. Educare Arizona fills a critical need, and we are proud to have played a role in creating what will be a difference-maker in Arizona and beyond for generations to come.
Join us! And thank you for caring about children.