What a summer! Just after the Steve Nash Foundation's Showdown (www.stevenash.org/showdown), a fundraiser to benefit Educare Arizona came to a close, the NBA's free agency period opened, and ended with the League's perennial assist leader landing the starting point guard job with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now wearing #10 (a nod to his soccer heritage), Steve will continue to be playing for kids - he remains committed to the model of excellence at work at Educare Arizona, and to the necessity of highest quality early learning opportunities for all kids, including children living in poverty. More about his exploits will be on the Steve Nash Foundation's new twitter handle, @SteveNashFdn.
Educare Arizona's also got some new leadership - joining us is Christy McClendon, as Educare Arizona's new President - and a new social media look: you can now follow Educare Arizona on twitter, @EducareArizona.
Getting the best possible start in life and learning has been showing to have a dramatic affect on later life - from academics, to interpersonal relationships, to professional success, the first five years matter.
With a new school year beginning, we're hoping you'll be with us as Educare Arizona continues to grow health in kids, bring families needed resources, and provide a true showroom for Early Head Start and Head Start potential. Learn more about us at educarearizona.org or stevenash.org - and thanks for your assist!
Being greeted by children at Educare Arizona is one my favorite things about my job. Watching a preschooler who was previously too shy to make eye contact tell me with such excitement about the fish in her classroom is instant evidence that the individualized attention Educare Arizona provides makes kids feel great about themselves. Data collection and analysis correlates that feeling of confidence with all kinds of positive outcomes: better classroom performance, retention, physical health, and family dynamics. Happy kids also contribute enormously to growing healthy communities.
Your support keeps it all going -- with so many ways to support Educare Arizona, we encourage you to tell your friends, and don't hesitate to reach out to Educare Arizona directly if you have any questions. Tell them Steve sent you.
The Grand Opening! October 27 and 28, 2011
With children filing the courtyard and a host of policy makers, movers and shakers, and community stakeholders, Educare Arizona Board member and Southwest Human Development CEO Ginger Ward, Educare Arizona Executive Director Billie Enz, and Educare Arizona Board President and Balsz School District Superintendent Jeff Smith cut the ribbon on this new, state of the art early learning facility in Phoenix, Arizona; the next evening, donors joined Steve for tours, speeches and a celebration of all we've accomplished.
Of course, the real work begins now. Our teachers are developing innovative new ideas for excellence in the classroom, strategic policy sessions are shaping our goals for the next decade and beyond, and local talent - like artist Joan Baron, and our creative neighbors and new supporters of Educare Arizona - are infusing the culture of the school with the diversity that populates its community.
Getting to tour the people with whom we've been talking about Educare Arizona for years was a very meaningful moment in time for Steve and me, and we look forward to seeing each of you at some point down the road. Please know how much your support has meant and will continue to mean to us and to the young MVPs we serve.
With hopes for a peaceful season,