News Bites – Spring, 2017

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Website redesign simplifies preschool search

The Denver Preschool Program is delighted to announce that we have recently launched our redesigned website! Our goal is to provide parents and caregivers easier access to the information they need to make informed decisions about their child’s early education. The bilingual site serves both English and Spanish-speaking visitors to reflect our dedication to ensuring all children in Denver have equal access to high quality preschool. Click here to take a look around and let us know what you think.

New bill could reduce preschool expulsion rate

Read our op-ed published in the Colorado Statesmen on why the Denver Preschool Program supports House Bill 17-1210. The bill would Limit the use of suspensions and expulsions for Colorado children in kindergarten through second grade, as well as preschoolers in state-funded programs.

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One Book 4 Colorado winner announced

One Book 4 Colorado (OB4CO) returns this month with a tale of a hungry mouse that upends a house in search of a midnightsnack. From now through May 1, 2017, the program will give away more than 75,000 copies of “Mouse Mess” by Linnea Riley to Colorado 4-year-olds. Riley’s book was selected from a list of finalists following a public vote.

Now in its sixth year, OB4CO is an annual early literacy campaign developed by the Lt. Governor’s Office, Colorado Department of Education, Colorado Office of Early Literacy, Colorado State Library and the Denver Preschool Program.

Families with young children are invited to pick up their free copy of “Mouse Mess” at any Colorado library or their Denver Preschool Program classroom. Books are available in English and Spanish.

Summer Funding Returns

Thanks to Denver voters’ continued support, the Denver Preschool Program is able to offer tuition support to families with a child enrolled in a participating summer early learning programs. Summer early learning programs are an enriching opportunity for children to maintain or sharpen their skills—and have fun—before kindergarten starts. “We’re excited to offer summer funding for the third year in a row,” said Jennifer Landrum, president and CEO of the Denver Preschool Program. “When communities can support the whole child for the whole year, we create safer and smarter kids.”

Contact your preschool, or click here to find a summer early learning program in your area. Please note that because of seasonal closures, children enrolled in a Denver Public Schools preschool will need to transfer to a community or home-based site.

Already enrolled? Click here to sign up for tuition support.

strategic plan

New 2017-2021 Strategic Plan Unveiled  

We’re pleased to announce a new strategic plan to guide the Denver Preschool Program for the next four years. Through the leadership and facilitation of Mission Spark, more than 40 early childhood education leaders contributed their expertise to the plan, helping the Preschool Program chart a course to support Denver in fulfilling its promise to its youngest learners.

Susan Steele

As we move into our tenth year of making preschool possible for every 4-year-old in Denver, this new plan will enhance our effectiveness in removing barriers to high quality preschool. To learn more about our plan, click here.

Three things to know about Susan Steele

Susan Steele tells it like it is. For the past several years the executive director of the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation has used her fearless voice to “get good work done” on behalf of children in Colorado as an outspoken member of the Colorado Early Childhood Leadership Commission, the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, Executives Partnering to Invest in Children, Milestones Colorado and more recently, the Denver Preschool Program Board of Directors. Here are three things to know about Susan.

1. She was a middle school math teacher

Susan got her start in education teaching math in middle school. While the prospect might seem scary to some, she saw it as an opportunity to build relationships with a vulnerable age group eager to learn from teachers who took an interest in them.

2. She loves numbers

After teaching, Steele was an accountant for 15 years. Her ability to help organizations understand their financial records led to a controller position at the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation where she worked her way up to executive director in 1998, utilizing both sides of her background.

3. Not a native?

Although Susan has lived in the Front Range since she was 6-weeks-old, people still question her Colorado native cred. Nevertheless, it doesn’t stop her from sporting orange and blue. When the proud grandmother of three isn’t working, she’s “supporting the things that are exciting and fun to do in Colorado,” like cheering on the Denver Broncos and taking in a show at local theaters.