Help Us Raise Funds for 2020
Another year has gone by at Positive Bright Start, and we’re looking back at what we’ve accomplished this year, and what we hope to accomplish in the new one.
In 2019, we served 36 kids at our school, and 51 children and their families utilized our mental health services. Approximately 80 child care homes participated in our Child and Adult Care Food Program, serving around 700 area children with nutritious meal reimbursement and caregiver nutrition education. Though our funds from various sources were significantly reduced in 2019, with your generous contributions filling in some gaps, our Scholarship programs were able to help approximately 20 families put 30 children in quality care situations at 9 different area schools.
Looking ahead to 2020, we hope to continue to offer the same high quality, diverse, and supportive programs to our community, and once again, we need your help. Once again, we’re asking for your help to supplement funding to our programs, as each and every one is vital to the holistic care we wish to provide.
A great example of how our integrated services provided for a Douglas County family in need is the story of Lucy. Lucy joined our preschool classroom when we opened it in November of 2017. Still 3 months shy of her third birthday, Lucy came to us a vulnerable child. She was literally very small, small for her age, and even experienced a life threatening injury just weeks after entering our school. Lucy’s parents’ financial picture was precarious from the start as well. At first, they qualified for a $300 a month (of a $635 per month tuition) scholarship. Then, around Christmas of that year, Mom lost her job and Dad was only working part time. But Lucy still needed the consistency and social interaction of early education, so we increased their scholarship to $550 for a temporary period of January through March, so that Lucy could stay in school. In April, the family’s tuition assistance reverted back to the original $300 assistance per month per our agreement. In June, the family submitted a new scholarship application. Mom had found a job, but it paid commissions only and it was a slow start. Lucy’s scholarship was increased to $550 and remains there today.
Along the way, Lucy began to exhibit some behaviors that were concerning to her parents and teachers. At the suggestion of our classroom teachers, and knowing that our services would be free to her family and sensitive to her family’s unique circumstances, Lucy’s parents enrolled her in our therapeutic services. Lucy and her mom attended Theraplay sessions together, strengthening their attachment, working through their trauma, and giving them both the skills they needed to build their relationship.
Lucy’s parents have always been supportive of the work we do. Her mom attended our Parent Connections Trainings, teaching parents about trauma as it is experienced by children and how parents can be supportive to their children as they build resilience. In June of this year, Lucy’s mom also joined a workgroup to revisit the policies and application procedures for our scholarship programs. She was one of two scholarship parents participating and it was very helpful to us to have the parent perspective along with that of funders and programs directors.
Today, Lucy is a strong four year old in our PreK classroom with excellent developing social and emotional skills. She was recently observed in the classroom navigating a peer conflict with aplomb. Lucy became upset with a classmate for taking a piece of a toy she was playing with. She said with a definite measure of assertiveness, “That makes me so angry!” Acknowledging Lucy for expressing her angry emotion with words, one of the teachers told Lucy that “sometimes, even when we’re angry, we have to talk nicely to our friends.” Lucy responded “OK, I’ll work on that next time.” Excellent response, Lucy.
We have wrapped social emotional teaching, therapeutic services and financial supports with a trauma informed lens around Lucy and her family. Lucy is full of energy and excitement about life and learning and prepared for kindergarten and her future. We’d like to be able to tell Lucy’s story about other families in Douglas County, a dozen times over. Your financial contribution will help us achieve that goal. Whether it’s $50 or $5,000 every dollar helps. Please consider making a donation today. Send checks made to Positive Bright Start in the enclosed return envelope. You may also contribute via the Donate button on our website, positivebrightstart.org
Thanks and Happy Holidays,
Positive Bright Start staff and Board of Directors