Scottsdale Charros give to ensure early childhood development

20100630-059No matter what socioeconomic background a child comes from, he or she and their parents deserve a shot at experiencing and learning comprehensive early childhood development — no matter if they can pay for it or not.

The Phoenix Crisis Nursery, which serves a contingency of Scottsdale residents, believes in that notion and through its Families and Children Experiencing Success Early Childhood Program seeks to make that idea a reality.

“Since founding the FACES program in 1999, our primary goal and outcome has been to provide children with the knowledge, skills, self-confidence and positive habits that will allow them to become prepared for success in elementary school and in life,” said Damita Curry, Crisis Nursery resource development director.

“Our secondary goal and outcome is to provide the parents of these children the knowledge and understanding required to successfully navigate and connect with needed social services, secure permanent housing, improve their financial status through better employment and financial education, and become more skilled in successful parenting techniques.”

The Scottsdale Charros believe in that mission and are contributing $2,000 to the effort.

“The Crisis Nursery is worth the Charros’ grant money because the money will be directly applied to support their FACES program, which is an amazing full-day care and education facility that helps educate and care for low income children 0-5 years old, said Scottsdale Charros Ed Campbell.

Mr. Campbell says the Crisis Nursery takes on a holistic approach to early childhood development.
“The FACES program makes Scottsdale a better place because it not only cares for, educates and assists the children, but the program is also geared toward educating the parents and assuring that the family unit stays together,” he explains.

20100813-251Ms. Curry says Charros grant dollars go a long way.

“The Charros donation is being directly applied to support our FACES Early Childhood Center, providing comprehensive, full-day care and education to about 140 children each year, from 0-5 years old,” she said.

“FACES is one of only 26 early childhood facilities in the entire state of Arizona to receive a 5-Star quality rating from First Things First, which is in the top 3 percent statewide. We subsidize our childcare, so that none of our low-income parents pay more than $40/month for this high level of care, which allows them the flexibility to work a full day, and not have to worry about their children.”

The need for assistance in education and services promoting early childhood development is all over, Ms. Curry says.

“We serve families who live or work near our facility, just north of Sky Harbor Airport, including children who reside in Scottsdale,” she said. “Of our students, 98 percent qualify for free or reduced lunches, living at less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line. More than two-thirds live in poverty”

Mr. Campbell says his motivation to be a Scottsdale Charro is to help decide where charity efforts out to be focused.

“As a Charro member, it gives me the opportunity to be directly a part of the decision-making process to decide where the grant money is donated,” he said.

“The Charros dedicate our time and raise money to support so many worthy charitable organizations in the Valley.  I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of an organization that provides so much for our community.”

Ms. Curry says FACES can help shape a new future for the children and families who come through the front door.

“While at FACES, each child is provided two healthy meals and 1-2 snacks every day, lots of playtime on our extensive playground facilities, a quality educational curriculum, and is given free health and developmental screenings,” she said.

“The kids develop improved social, emotional, language and problem-solving skills, that form a foundation for success in kindergarten and life. By working directly with the parents of these children, our professional and nurturing staff has successfully connected 100 percent of the children with both a medical and dental home during their first year with us.”

Go to www.crisisnurseryphx.org.

News Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at 623-445-2774 or follow him at www.twitter.com/nvnewsman

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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