vSara B. Hansen
For Loveland Connection
The Family Center/La Familia has a big goal to hit by July 1.
The center, which provides affordable, bilingual education for children 6 weeks to 5 years old, has started a capital campaign to raise $500,000, which will be matched dollar for dollar by the Bohemian Foundation on all donations made through June.
Maury Dobbie, who is leading the capital campaign, said it's important for people to recognize their donations are an investment in the future.
"I really believe in early childhood education," she said. "We are raising the next generation."
Alan Cohen, the center's executive director, said it's better to invest in education now rather than pay for prison space later.
"Studies show you can judge by third-grade reading scores how many prison beds you'll need 16 years later. We'd rather see people spend that money now."
The center now owns three quarters of the building it is in and will use the $1 million to pay off that mortgage and to also buy the additional 4,000 square feet of space. That will give the center 12,000 square feet.
Eliminating the monthly mortgage payment will allow the center to instead spend that $4,500 to on its programs.
In addition to child care, the center also offers family strengthening and education services, youth and teen programs, Parents as Teachers home visits and parent education classes. The center's budget is generated by 38 percent grants, 32 percent government reimbursement and 20 percent parent fees, Cohen said.
The center’s day care is licensed for 70 children and currently has 57 enrolled, Cohen said. The expansion will allow the center to increase its capacity to 105 children and allow it to create a special playground for younger children.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Sunday, December 27, 2009