News Bites – Summer, 2016

2015 Annual Report Now Available Online

We’re excited to announce our 2015 Report to the Community is now available on our website. Learn how we’ve been able to invest in innovation and increase access to preschool more than ever before.
In the past year we’ve built deeper community relationships to increase awareness; launched a new quality improvement framework designed to encourage and reward teacher development and foster positive teacher-child interactions; and brought back year-round preschool. 

Affordable and high quality preschool is available for more Denver families with 4-year-olds like Liliana’s, Alma’s and Maria’s. Read more about their children’s experiences, how we utilized your tax-dollars, what’s next as we approach our 10-year anniversary, and more by downloading the report here. 

A Round of Applause for Outstanding Educators 

Award winners

On May 26 we gathered at the Washington Park Boat House for our annual Provider Appreciation Event. Though the skies were gray and rain threatened, smiles were bright as we celebrated the hard work and dedication of our preschool teachers, directors and administrators. 
Denver Montessori School, Early Excellence Program of Denver and Brenda Natt, a veteran teacher at Hope Center, Inc., received our annual “ECE” awards for their commitment to providing high quality early childhood education. 

Out of more than 250 preschool partners, Denison Montessori School received the Quality Enrichment Award for significantly improving their program quality rating, Early Excellence Program of Denver received the Excellence in Quality Award for consistently adhering to DPP’s Quality Improvement Framework and Natt received the Commitment to Quality Award, which recognizes educators who have reached and consistently maintained the very highest standards of quality in their classrooms. 

“Ms. Natt has been with us for 21 years,” said Gerie Grimes, president and CEO of Hope Center. “Not only does she have a wealth of knowledge of working with children from all backgrounds, but she also embraces each child as an individual and shows high respect for their cultural beliefs and values.” 

We applaud each and every one of our schools and teachers for their commitment to serving Denver’s youngest generation. 

Is there another preschool or preschool teacher you’re proud of? Let us know on Facebook.

How Denver Supports Diverse Classrooms

Check out this story by Eric Gorski of Chalkbeat Colorado about what Denver Public School’s is doing to attract more educators of color in an effort to narrow the district’s race- and income-based achievement gaps. As an organization that believes every child deserves access to the best education opportunities, we support local leaders taking action to advance equality in the classroom.

Join us in Celebrating Community and Culture

If you or someone you know would like more hands-on information or guidance signing up for tuition support, you’re invited this summer to stop by our booth at any one of the following community events. We’ll have English- and Spanish-speaking representatives available to answer your questions and free books for preschoolers.

 Event    Date 
   Denver Housing Authority Homeownership Fair          June 25 
   Our Lady of Guadalupe Church Bazaar         July 9 and 10
   Destination Health in Denver         July 23 
   Clinica Tepeyac Adelante 5K in Stapleton         August 7 
   Kids Choice Health & Wellness Fair in Denver         August 20  

Giraffe’s Can’t Dance…or Can They?

2016 launch

Thank you to everyone who made One Book 4 Colorado 2016 a success! In April the program gave away more than 75,000 copies of Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae in English and Spanish to every 4-year-old in the state through Colorado public libraries and Denver Preschool Program classrooms. Now in its fifth year, OB4CO promotes early literacy skills and helps families be their children’s first and most important teacher. DPP is proud to partner with the Lt. Governor’s office and the Colorado State Library for the events.

Four things to know about Mike Yankovich

Painting a picture

When he’s not brainstorming interactive exhibits that let kids learn on their own terms as president and CEO of the Children’s Museum Denver at the Marsico Campus, Mike Yankovich serves as the chair of the Denver Preschool Program’s Board of Directors. Here are four things to know about the elementary education major who, despite his accomplishments, describes himself as “a kid at heart from Ohio who grew up with plenty of struggles and learning challenges in school”

1.    His museum career began in his grandfather’s basement
As a hyperactive child, Yankovich struggled to learn in the classroom, yet thrived in unexpected places. “My grandfather had a cool basement with lots of tools and provided me the opportunity to take things apart, hike along railroad tracks and explore the world,” he said. He credits that experience with sparking his desire to help other children with attention-problems find their focus through informal learning environments. 

2.    He thinks Denver is the place for productivity
Of all the places he’s lived, what makes Yankovich especially fond of Denver is the spirit collaboration. “The invitation to make things happen that’s bigger than ourselves is pretty spectacular here. You can meet with anyone, have conversations and quickly make things happen.” 

3.    He has a “notoriously unreliable” 1978 Volkswagen bus
When he’s not in the office, Yankovich enjoys running, hiking, camping, and exploring Colorado in the vintage vehicle. 

4.    He believes children can save the world
“If we equip children in the right way with empathy, resiliency, creativity, and a good education, they will solve a lot of the seemingly unsolvable issues that we’re struggling with today and that makes me incredibly optimistic.”