Election season has turned up the volume on the early learning conversation -- more and more studies are pointing to the connection between quality early ed opportunities and high performing school districts and communities. Educare Arizona is a perfect showroom for the impact on development -- as always, we'd love to have you visit! If you can't get to Phoenix, remember that there are 20 operational schools in the Educare Learning Network (here's a map!), and all of them are proud to show you what they're up to.
This fall marks the beginning of our 4th school year at Educare Arizona, and we're fully enrolled at 191 infants, toddlers and preschoolers gracing us everyday with their attitudes of inquiry and indomitable energy. For the first time, we have two full infant rooms, and our older children couldn't be more taken with these brand-new learners - a full continuum of ages at play, work, and wonder.
The adults at Educare Arizona are just as remarkable: through our partnership with Arizona State University, Educare is providing training and mentoring in the field of early childhood for new teachers about to enter the field. This year, 28-30 degree canditates will be on-site, where four previous ASU students are now employed as teachers!
Educare Arizona's wonderful programmatic partner, Southwest Human Development, works closely on our Child Development Associate program which provides Early Head Start and Head Start parents training in early childhood education, to afford them career opportunities in the field. Since beginning in the 2012/2013 school year, 46 candidates have completed the program, with 37 now employed with a SWHD Head Start/Early Head Start program (including 17 right here at Educare Arizona!). This year, another 40 candidates are registered, and we can't wait to see where it takes them.
At the Steve Nash Foundation, we've raised over $2million for Educare Arizona, which we think is among the most critical of resources available to children and families. Educare Arizona thrives with community support from people like you, and we are so proud to count you among those investing in children and communities with us. Thank you for your continued assist . . . and don't forget to vote for kids this autumn!
Educare Arizona entered its third full school year this past autumn, with 183 students - 16 (thriving) infants, 48 toddlers, and 119 preschool children. With the generous support of donors like you, we've added a Math & Science Big Building Area in the Birth to Five Courtyard. The area is used daily, for the kind of integrated science and learning that high-quality early learning offers — through creative free play and structured lessons, the blocks, arches, wheelbarrows, and chutes provide opportunities for our students to explore the ups and downs and ins and outs of their physical world. The items purchased for the permanent installation are beautifully crafted, adding natural elements to the outdoor space that is such a focus of the school.Inside and out, Educare Arizona has continued to develop and respond to community needs. Last month, we welcomed new CEO John Scola to Educare Arizona, and are excited that he shares our passion for early childhood’s role in community building — a passion that has significant legs to stand on. A major national commission sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently announced their recommendations for building a healthier America — and investing more in high-quality early childhood is their first priority. What's more, the commission spotlighted the great work Educare is doing on this front: multiple references to Educare in the Commission's executive summary and full report can be found in the right-hand column of the page linked here: http://www.rwjf.org/en/research-publications/find-rwjf-research/2014/01/recommendations-from-the-rwjf-commission-to-build-a-healthier-am.html. In addition, a quick, 2-minute video the Commission produced features Educare Washington DC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A0VuPnMf-Y. Educare’s national leadership on early childhood education has also lead to the Educare Learning Network (ELN) being asked to contribute our learning on the impact of expanding Early Head Start to promote improvement of community healthcare to meet the needs of vulnerable children (and the communities in which they live). ELN’s sedulous attention to data collection, analysis and implementation has also lead Head Start and the Department of Health and Human Services to reach out to ELN to host workshops on data utilization, to contribute to improvement of practice nationally. All of this is a testament to all of the good work being done, at Educare Arizona, and, together, throughout the coast-to-coast network of Educare schools, and it couldn’t happen without supporters like you - thank you!
"Educare Arizona is an opportunity to really grow our children into healthy, strong, confident, intelligent students that can then go on and thrive and follow their dreams and therefore improve our workforce, our economy and our communities." - Steve Nash, President, the Steve Nash Foundation, Two-Time NBA MVP
Steve sums it up well! Since opening its doors in 2011, Educare Arizona has been a growing voice in the early childhood education discussion: more than a high-quality preschool for 191 children in Arizona, Educare Arizona provides critical teacher training, policy advocacy, and expertise in a field recognized for its vital role in community and economic growth.
Among the latest developments at Educare Arizona:
Come in for a tour of Educare Arizona, and you'll be immediately struck by the beautiful learning environment - some photos of our building are included here, but Educare Arizona is more than its wrapper. It's the voices of kids as they come into their own, nurtured by highest-quality programs, guidance, and instruction; it's the sight of their creativity - whether in song, paint or play; it's the growing engagement of parents as they get the resources they need to foster learning and development with their kids; it's a catalyst for change. Educare Arizona is changing the way we perceive of the first five years of life and learning.
We so appreciate your support, and hope you'll continue to grow health in kids with us -- you'll be glad you did!