Denver Preschool Program

Media Room

News Bites - Fall, 2016

Denver Preschool Program - News Bites

DPP Earmarks $200,000 in Scholarships for Preschool Professionals

Quality learning requires quality teachers. That’s why we’ve recently partnered with Qualistar Colorado to award more than $200,000 in T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarships to early childhood educators within our network for the first time in our history.

“I never thought I’d make it this far,” Guadalupe Rubio, director of Crayon Academic Learning Center said. “I’m really happy to say that I’ve been working in this field for almost nine years. As a single mom of two, it’s been a challenge, but my struggle makes me feel proud of the person I’ve become.”

Rubio is one of 21 preschool professionals in the first DPP application round who received a T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship, which pays for 90 percent of college tuition and fees beginning this fall toward earning a professional credential, associate or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. As part of the scholarship award, recipients will become a part of a cohort with other professionals to support their education journey, and receive a financial bonus or raise for completing their coursework and a work commitment at their preschool.

T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) Early Childhood® is a national program created in 1993 to help improve the education, retention and pay of early learning professionals. Currently 24 states, including Colorado and the District of Columbia, participate in T.E.A.C.H.

For more information about T.E.A.C.H., visit

Welcome Tricia Nelson

We’re pleased to announce that Tricia Nelson has joined the Denver Preschool Program in July as its new Executive Assistant. Nelson was previously the assistant director at Family Flex Education Center, which is one of our affiliates. She has a bachelor’s degree in development and child psychology in addition to a bachelor’s degree in Spanish studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. “I am very much looking forward to being part of the team,” said Nelson. You can reach her at or 720.287.5055 ext. 18.

New ad campaign asks, “Want help paying for preschool?”

Did you know early education can cost more than college tuition? To spread the news that financial support is available to all Denver families of 4-year-olds through the Denver Preschool Program, we’ve officially launched a new advertising campaign—just in time for back-to-school.

Conceptualized by Barnhart Communications and D+i Creative, the campaign targets English- and Spanish-speaking parents of preschoolers currently struggling with sticker shock. The campaign also reaches younger families to encourage them to start the search for preschool early so that they can utilize our support when their child is 4.

By reaching parents where they are, we hope to get more children into the classroom when they are preschoolers because the more they know at 4, the more likely they are to thrive later in life. Keep an eye—and ear—out for the ads on social media, Denver radio, local television, your neighborhood bus stop and more.

Three things to know about Anna Jo Haynes 


Education is Anna Jo Haynes’ life. For more than 50 years the Denver-native has successfully worked to advance programs and policies that improve the wellbeing of local children—and she hasn’t slowed down yet. As President Emeritus of Mile High Montessori Early Learning Center, Co-Chair of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission and a Denver Preschool Program Board Member, Haynes continues to fight for Denver’s most vulnerable children. Here are three things to know about the longtime children’s advocate.

1. She ran away from kindergarten—at first
Nearly every time her mother took her to her kindergarten class at Mitchell Elementary School, she’d run back home. “I wasn’t quite ready,” said Haynes, who had to repeat the year. “Fortunately I had a wonderful teacher, Ms. Tracewell. I became her helper and she taught me to be a leader.” She credits the experience with teaching her first-hand how important it is for children to be prepared for school. 

2. Activism is a family affair
While working in the civil rights movement, Haynes’ five children were never far from her side. “I took them everywhere I went, and they were involved,” she said. The early exposure to civic issues inspired one of her children to follow in her footsteps. Haynes’ daughter, Allegra “Happy” Haynes serves on Denver Public School’s Board of Education and is executive director of parks and recreation for the City of Denver.

3. She loves the outdoors…and the Golden State Warriors
Outside of work, Haynes enjoys a dip in the pool, going on hiking expeditions to places like Nepal with Colorado Women Outward Bound and cheering on the Golden State Warriors. Why not the Denver Nuggets you ask? Because “you go where the best is,” says Haynes, but she supports the home team when they are not playing the Warriors.

Sign-Up Socials spread the word about DPP

We say it all the time; preschool is important and we’ll help you pay for it. But word on the street is some parents still haven’t gotten the message. The solution? Sign-Up Socials!

Starting this summer, we’ve been stopping by preschools across Denver to make sure every parent of a 4-year-old knows about the tuition support they’re entitled to receive as local taxpayers. Thus far, 19 providers have scheduled a visit from us this fall.

If you or someone you know would like help with the paperwork to sign up with DPP, contact Tricia Nelson for more information at or 720-287-5505 ext. 18.

Colorado gets kudos from U.S. Education Secretary

Last month, U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr., and Deputy Assistant Secretary Libby Doggett, stopped by Colorado on a national tour to check-in with each of the 20 states that have collectively received more than $1 billion in Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grants. King met with nearly 30 local educators across the state, including DPP President and CEO Jennifer Landrum, at a round-table hosted at the Tramway Nonprofit Center to discuss the progress of local programs. Read more about his visit—and the latest efforts to improve access to high-quality early education—at Chalkbeat Colorado.

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