News Bites – Spring, 2019

DPP Increases Monthly Tuition Support for Families

Child and teacher

DPP has increased the monthly tuition support offered to Denver families by 3.5 percent, effective January 2019. This increase follows the 10.7 percent increase in monthly tuition support we implemented at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. This is especially great news for current DPP families, who are now paying even less out-of-pocket for their child’s preschool tuition during the second half of the 2018-2019 school year.

This change marks the eighth consecutive year we have been able to increase the amount of direct tuition support provided to our families. In addition, this is only the second time in our history that we have increased that support in the middle of the school year.

We encourage families with questions about how this change is reflected on their child’s tuition statement to contact their preschool directly. If you have other questions about this change, please call 303-595-4DPP, or email us at info@dpp.org.

DPP Announces Pilot Gap Scholarship Program

DPP is excited to announce the approval of a new Gap Scholarship program created to help increase preschool affordability and access for Denver’s neediest families. The pilot program will run for up to three years, beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. It will also help us learn how such a scholarship can bolster a family’s ability to afford and attend a quality preschool.

“Following a 10-month exploration process, we found that even with DPP tuition credits, preschool can still be financially out of reach for many families. Our vision with the Gap Scholarship is to provide support to ensure that eligible families never have to contribute more than 12 percent of their income to preschool tuition,” said Ellen Braun, DPP’s interim president and CEO.
Stay tuned for more information about this pilot program, coming soon!

And the Winner Is…One Book Colorado Pick Announced

penguinant

On April 8, Governor Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock launched One Book Colorado 2019 at the Denver Public Library by revealing the winning book. This year’s title is PENGUINAUT! written by Marcie Colleen and illustrated by Emma Yarlett. We know that when we give children books and encourage families to read together, we’re helping to create a strong culture of literacy in Colorado. DPP has been a proud partner of One Book Colorado for the past eight years in support of its efforts to give a book to every Colorado 4-year-old in English or Spanish.

This year One Book Colorado will provide more than 75,000 books across the state. And since the inception of the program, we’ve distributed close to a half million books to children in Colorado. Books are available at every public and military library throughout the state, as well as in DPP-participating schools.

For low-income families, access to quality books and early literacy efforts are even more important, as research shows that children in low-income families tend to have fewer books in their homes and are exposed to 30 million fewer words before the age of 4 than their higher-income peers. One Book Colorado aims to help close this vocabulary gap by getting a book into the home of every 4-year-old in Colorado and fostering a culture of reading. A child must first learn to read before he or she can read to learn.

Michael B. Hancock Community Room Available for Free Rental

Community Room

We recently welcomed our supporters and friends to the dedication event of our beautiful new office and community space. As part of the dedication, we featured the Michael B. Hancock Community Room which was created in alignment with our strategic plan. The Michael B. Hancock Community Room exemplifies our strategic priorities by supporting early childhood education professionals. The space is available for early childhood organizations and local nonprofits at no charge. We believe one of the key factors in our success to-date is DPP’s collaborative approach to working with providers and other partners. We hope it serves as a shared gathering place to continue supporting and advocating for early childhood policies and strategies that ultimately help our youngest learners succeed. The room is available Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and seats up to 45 people. If you are interested in booking the space free of charge, please contact Angeles Ross at angeles@dpp.org to learn more.

Board Chair Profile: Zach Hochstadt

Zach Hochstadt

Our team is honored to welcome Zach Hochstadt as DPP’s board chair. He brings a unique perspective to the group and, while his background isn’t in early childhood, he has spent his career focused on nonprofit branding and management so he knows what works and what doesn’t work. The co-founder of a company known as Mission Minded, Zach and his team have provided strategic oversight to hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the country, including the Colorado Health Foundation, Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, San Francisco Opera and Khan Academy. Here are four things to know about DPP’s new board chair:

1. He’s a fifth-generation Coloradan.
Zach’s Coloradan roots run incredibly deep. He was born in the Centennial State, and although he moved to Montana when he was 5 years old and has lived all over the western U.S., he and his wife happily moved back to Colorado a decade ago to raise their own family here. Moving back as an adult, Zach says Denver was “both new and familiar all at the same time.” Most of all, though, it’s home sweet home.

2. He aims for the stars.
As a father of two, Zach certainly values the role high-quality preschool plays in the daily lives of children and families. But he also understands the bigger picture at play when it comes to addressing intergenerational poverty. “There is no better avenue than education for breaking the cycle of poverty, and that starts with giving children a solid educational foundation in preschool,” notes Zach. “This sets the stage for children to succeed in school and beyond, which ultimately benefits everyone. Colorado prospers when our kids thrive because they are our future workforce, leaders and community members.” 

3. He’s also passionate about Ultimate (frisbee, that is).
Zach is a lifelong Ultimate player. While living in California, he helped found the Bay Area Disc Association, and he’s even played in the Ultimate frisbee National Championships. He currently plays for – and is captain of – a team known simply as “Firetruck!” (The exclamation point is indeed part of the name.)

4. He’s got other talents too.
Zach is passionate about words – something that is most noticeable when he’s inventing cheers for his Ultimate team. He is also very proud of his abilities to juggle, (pretend to) tap dance and play harmonica.

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