Steve Nash Foundation

To assist underserved children in their health, personal development, education and enjoyment of life.
Jul 24, 2013

Educare Arizona - Summer Update 2013

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:

  • Evaluation Activities - All Educare toddler and preschool classrooms scored a 6-7 score on the ITERS (Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale) and ECERS (Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale) evaluations (the tools used to rate environmental quality, with 7 being the highest possible score).
  • Literacy and Economic Planning Assistance - Educare Arizona families participated in literacy training, as well as financial literacy training this spring, in high-energy, productive sessions. Additionally, the computers in the Educare Arizona Parent Resource Room are now portals to Workforce Development web resources that help our families locate, apply for and secure employment.
  • Family Engagement - Family engagement activities resulted in over 817 hours of parent volunteer time at Educare Arizona. 
  • Physical Health and Well-Being - 100% of children at Educare Arizona are fully immunized, and over 97% have had a well-child examination and a preventative dental exam - Educare Arizona’s children are physically healthy and ready to learn!
  • Site Installation - Per our last report, a beautiful new photography exhibit was installed this spring - Faces of Educare brings to our hallways, teacher, and training spaces some of the students and families of Educare Arizona.  Capturing them in all stages of learning and exploration, the photos exhibit the connection between children, environment, and our community. The installation was made possible by a grant from Kathy and Steve Pidgeon, in memory of their sister, Mary Malone.
  • ELN Meeting - In March, Educare Arizona hosted more than 200 guests from around the Educare Learning Network, with all 18 schools coming together to share local and national best practices during an energized, thoughtful and very productive 3 day meeting.
  • Art Matters - Educare Arizona’s children and families celebrated the inaugural From Hearts and Hands of Children art festival in mid-February, held in the Educare Arizona courtyard. On display were paintings and three-dimensional creations from our budding artists, who also performed a (highly) original play based on Eric Carle’s Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? complete with masks they made and some great sound effects.
  • BEACH time - Educare Arizona’s BEACH health center, a partnership with NOAH, provided over 17,000 primary medical, dental, wellness, prenatal, and mental health visits during its first full year of operations, meeting the needs of over 1,500 individual patients.

Links:

Mar 12, 2013

Educare Arizona - Spring Update 2013

The Foyer at Educare Arizona - Art-chitecture
The Foyer at Educare Arizona - Art-chitecture

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)

Learning Lunch - from Faces of Educare Arizona
Learning Lunch - from Faces of Educare Arizona
Play! - from Faces of Educare Arizona
Play! - from Faces of Educare Arizona
Art Nook at Educare Arizona - Spring
Art Nook at Educare Arizona - Spring '13
Go! Laugh! Go! - from Faces of Educare Arizona
Go! Laugh! Go! - from Faces of Educare Arizona
Planting Seeds - from Faces of Educare Arizona
Planting Seeds - from Faces of Educare Arizona

Links:

Dec 11, 2012

Educare Arizona - Winter Update 2012

Piazza at Educare Arizona
Piazza at Educare Arizona

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.

Links:

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