News Bites – Summer, 2017

10th Anniversary Approaches

10th birthday celebration

Ten years ago, a group of trailblazers set out to improve education inequality in Denver before the first day of kindergarten. Today, Denver taxpayers have made it their mission too. As we approach our 10th anniversary this September (and the 50,000th student served!) we’d like to thank our supporters for helping us transform Denver into a place where preschoolers become leaders.

Join us on Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in the southeast atrium from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. when we’ll raise a glass in celebration of a decade of raising the bar on preschool success.

Where Are They Now? A Decade in Review

Celebrating ten years

See what some of DPP’s earliest alumni have been up to in our 2015-2016 Annual Report where we revisit our journey from vision to victory at the polls. You’ll also hear from community leaders like Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and more who have helped further our cause.
Click here to view the 2015-2016 Annual Report online.

Board Member Profile: Chris Watney

Chris Daues

While Chris Watney’s professional path has taken many turns, one thing has never changed: her commitment to making a difference. “Work is such a big chunk of your life,” said Watney, “so I’ve always felt strongly about working for causes I believe in.” Here are four things to know about the DPP Board Member, who is known for her energy, earnestness and lending an ear.

1. She’s “not in Kansas anymore”

Watney is originally from the Sunflower State where she studied journalism at the University of Kansas before moving to Washington D.C. “I started in politics, and worked at the Justice Department for eight years before moving to Colorado,” said Watney.

2. She has a heart for children

Watney served as the President and CEO of the Colorado Children’s Campaign from 2003 to 2016 “We know that in Colorado, a lot of families are struggling and I’ve always felt that every kiddo deserves access to support—especially in the early years.”

3. She is a really good listener

Watney has a master’s degree in counseling and now owns her own counseling and therapy practice, People and Possibilities LLC, in Denver. “I’ve worked at the system level in the K-12 space, and now I’m able to focus on adults and families on an individual level. Both are important and allow you to create incredible strides.”

4. She’s short on time

Watney recently welcomed a baby girl named Rose into her family. “Having a new baby, I sometimes forget that I have hobbies!” she mused. “Backpacking, running and reading are some of my favorites and I’m hoping to introduce Rose to the outdoors when she gets older.”

DPP Launches Enrollment Incentive Program

20 for 20 logo

We’re pleased to announce an exciting new program to encourage parents not to skip out on tuition support from the Denver Preschool Program this fall. It’s simple: for every child that is signed up by Oct. 1, 2017, DPP will donate $20 to their school.
Chances are your local preschool is always looking for ways to raise much-needed funds to pay for enriching extras like colorful paper for crafts, or bouncy balls for outdoor play. Spread the word to your family and friends. Family Applications are available online at

Revamped online resource for early education

The Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines recently launched their new website just in time for back-to-school season. The dynamic guide features more than 30 videos in English and Spanish with practical tips on how adults can support children’s physical, intellectual and emotional development from birth to age 8. Learn more at

What matters more: education or play?

Playing with Legos isn’t enough to prepare children for the classroom according to a new study on the benefits of “academic-oriented” preschool featured in the New York Times. The study, published by the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley, found that children who attended more rigorous preschool programs for one year outperformed their peers who did not in literacy and math by the end of kindergarten. Read more in the New York Times.