Cave Creek Unified School District receives $20k for preschool scholarships

Cave Creek Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Debbi Burdick and ECS Director Gina Durbin at the Carefree Kiwanis check presentation. (Submitted Photo)

Financially strapped working parents with preschool age children will continue to get a helping hand with preschool tuition.

On Wednesday, May 10, Kiwanis Club of Carefree presented a $20,000 check to Gina Durbin, Director of Education and Community Services to provide Kiwanis Preschool Scholarships for Brilliant Futures to qualified families whose children need financial assistance to attend ECS preschool programs.

Education and Community Services is a department of Cave Creek Unified School District.

“This year, Carefree Kiwanis graciously increased the Scholarship to $20,000, where in the past two years, we received $10,000 for our families in need of ECS preschool scholarships,” Ms. Durbin said in a prepared statement.

“I will be working with Foothills Food Bank and AZ Neighbors in Need to identify students in our community that would qualify financially for this program. If we get these little ones starting their educational discovery early, they will be our class of 2030.”

Ms. Durbin said early childhood education is important because it can have positive, long-term effects for children, families and the community.

“Kiwanis Preschool Scholarships for Brilliant Futures will allow children age three to five to enjoy safe and developmentally stimulating learning experiences while their parents are at work,” she said.

Historically, a total of 125 to 130 children are enrolled annually in ECS Child’s Play Preschool. Of those, an average of 5 children a year have received assistance, according to a press release.

“Our curriculum focuses on the whole child with an emphasis on learning as a process of interaction with other children, adults and materials within an environment of play,” Jenny Stahl, ECS Early Childhood Coordinator said in a prepared statement.

“Children will be involved in a variety of project-based activities, guided investigations and materials that are concrete and relevant to the lives of young children, and emphasize the process, not the product.”

ECS Child’s Play Preschool offers full-day and half-day programs, a 10-to-1 child-teacher ratio, Liberal Arts curriculum, Harmony Social/Emotional Program, World Spanish, World French, World Mandarin, Character Counts, Love and Logic, Student Portfolios, Student Assessments, Get Ready to Read, ABC Music and Me, LOCKs, Before and After Care, among others.

Locations for ECS Child’s Play Preschool are Horseshoe Trails Elementary School, ECS Preschool, Desert Willow Elementary School, and Black Mountain Elementary School.

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