Steve Nash: Quality Early Learning For Little MVPs

by Steve Nash Foundation
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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:

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:

Showdown, benefiting Educare Arizona
Showdown, benefiting Educare Arizona

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!

Links:

Admiring the Fish
Admiring the Fish

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.

Links:

Steve - Educare Arizona
Steve - Educare Arizona's Toddler Classrooms

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,

Jenny

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Steve Nash Foundation

Location: Anchorage, AK - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.stevenash.org
Project Leader:
Jenny Miller
Executive Director
Anchorage, Alaska United States
$22,923 raised of $25,000 goal
 
348 donations
$2,077 to go
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