$800K Grant Supports Educare Arizona’s Mission to Prepare At-Risk Youth for Kindergarten & Beyond.
The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation Helps Fill a Void in State Funding for Early Childhood Education in the Balsz School District
PHOENIX, AZ (Dec. 4, 2014) – To help transform the lives of impoverished children through education, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has awarded Educare Arizona an $800,000 grant. The grant will support Educare Arizona’s capacity-building and strategic growth strategies. This will enable the agency to sustain its operations and programs that serve some of the state’s poorest children.
“Every child deserves a top notch education,” said businessman and philanthropist Bob Parsons. “Unfortunately, many of the most vulnerable children in our community are likely to fail before they even get started. The resources just aren’t there.”
Arizona eliminated funding for early childhood education in 2010. The cut significantly affected disadvantaged families who don’t have the resources to invest in early childhood programs.
In the Balsz School District, 92 percent of students come from families living below the poverty level. Unassisted, approximately 75 percent of these children will enter kindergarten without mastering English. By fifth grade these students will be nearly three grade levels behind their peers in literacy.
To bridge the educational divide, Educare Arizona provides full-day, full-year preschool for nearly 200 children in the Balsz School District. The program helps ensure the school readiness of children at greatest risk for academic failure. By offering high quality early learning, family support, and health care, the agency enables disadvantaged children to enter kindergarten with the same skills as their more affluent peers.
“Bob and I believe that early childhood education is a necessary investment for the future of our community,” said Renee Parsons. “If given the chance to develop a love of learning, many of these children will have the ammunition they need to successfully graduate from high school and move on to an even brighter future as an adult.”
“Educare Arizona provides a solid educational foundation for low-income children,” said Educare Arizona CEO John Scola. “We are so grateful to The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation for its investment in Educare Arizona’s long-term sustainability. With the Foundation’s support we look forward to continuing our mission to prepare children for kindergarten and beyond.”
Bob Parsons added, “Programs like Educare go a long way to change the future for kids. Educare Arizona gives children and their families hope – and hope is what The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation is all about.”
To learn more, please visit www.educarearizona.org.
About Educare Arizona
Educare Arizona helps at-risk children overcome language, academic, social and other barriers so they arrive at kindergarten prepared, ready to learn more, and on par with children from more affluent, low-risk communities. Designed and built around the research-based model that meets and stimulates children’s developmental needs, Educare Arizona reflects the core philosophies of the program — putting children first and providing a space for the community to come together. Nationally, Educare serves as a catalyst for change by leveling the academic playing field for very young children who are at risk for school failure.