The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation Gives $200,000 to Child Crisis Arizona to Build Head Start Classrooms in Mesa.

Program Addresses Need for Continuous Education for Young Children in Low-Income Families

Child Crisis Arizona has expanded its Early Education Services, in partnership with Maricopa County Head Start, due in part to a $200,000 grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. The gift, along with a grant from Thunderbirds Charities, helped enabled Child Crisis Arizona to remodel a 4,300-square-foot space in its Mesa facility, creating two additional classrooms, child-size bathrooms and staff offices. Previously, the organization’s Early Head Start programming provided services only to children ages 1 to 3 years old and the expansion filled the gap between this class and kindergarten, working with children ages 4 to 5.

“When children are introduced to quality education services at a young age they are more likely to excel in school and life,” said businesswoman Renee Parsons. “Child Crisis Arizona is truly giving these children a head start on a bright future.”

Head Start and Early Head Start programs are designed to help increase school readiness in children from low-income families. Services are designed to support the mental, social, physical and emotional development of children from birth to age 5. Participants in Child Crisis Arizona’s Early Head Start program have demonstrated a measurable, positive difference in achievement. Allowing children to continue their education in a Head Start program will help better prepare them for success as they enter kindergarten.

“Education is key to a better life,” said businessman Bob Parsons. “Providing education to children early, especially those in underserved populations, has a huge impact on their chances for success and ultimately better job opportunities as adults.”

Since 2012, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has provided more than $2.13 million to Child Crisis Arizona, and this most recent show of support comes at a time when the need could not be more critical. A recent study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that Mesa has experienced a 200 percent growth in the number of children living in poverty and the additional funding will allow Child Crisis Arizona to serve even more vulnerable families in this community.

“Thanks to this grant we are able to expand our education programs and provide valuable services to families, many of whom lack access to quality early childhood education or other parenting resources,” said Child Crisis Arizona Chief Executive Officer Torrie Taj. “Having the support of philanthropic leaders like Bob and Renee Parsons means that we are able to work toward our vision of safe kids…strong families.”

The facility remodel included construction of a new playground that was completed thanks to support by Niagara Bottling Company (Niagara Cares) and the Giles W.& Elise G. Mead Foundation. In addition to the Head Start programs, Child Crisis Arizona hosts parent education classes, community workshops and various family activities. To learn more visit ChildCrisisAZ.org.