INSPIRED IMPACT™ is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to social entrepreneurs and leaders of purpose-driven organizations who are making an impact in their communities, industries, and around the world.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
The Denver Preschool Program makes preschool possible for all Denver four-year-olds. We achieve our mission by providing tuition support to Denver families and quality improvement funds to preschools to ensure families have access to high-quality care.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
We were created by Denver, for Denver and we do what we do because our community is committed to making sure all children have equal access to high-quality care. We know that a high-quality early childhood experience can help to build a foundation and ensure our children are ready for kindergarten, reading at grade level by third grade, and excelling later in life.
Personally, I love the opportunity to invest in and support Denver families and our youngest learners. When you start young, the impact lasts for a lifetime. The Denver Preschool Program is at the nexus of research, policy, service, and outreach and it is because of that uniqueness that I love what I do.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
Through the 2018-2019 school year, DPP is estimated to have provided more than $122 million in tuition support to more than 54,000 Denver children attend the preschool of their family’s choice, establishing each child’s foundation for lifelong learning and success.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
I am inspired by our leaders of tomorrow, the children of our youngest generations who will build our future.
WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
The mission of the Denver Preschool Program is to ensure that every child in Denver enters kindergarten ready to reach their full potential, and while we have made great strides we still have work to do. My dream for DPP is to remain innovative and exemplary in serving our youngest children.
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
DPP is poised to continue on the path to ensuring every Denver child enters kindergarten ready to reach their full potential. In order to keep growing, we need to maintain partnerships with our neighbors and families to ensure every Denver child has access to high-quality care. We need to continue to innovate and create new programs to serve our preschoolers and the schools they attend.
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
The Denver Preschool Program’s biggest challenge is finding and serving all eligible children in Denver. While we know many families choose informal care for their children, there are many other families in the City and County that are unaware of our supports and face many barriers to entry. We are working tirelessly to find and serve the hard-to-reach populations so that our children of highest need have an opportunity to learn alongside their peers.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
While the Denver Preschool Program history has been overwhelmingly successful, impactful work would not be impactful without a few bumps in the road. We have had the great opportunity to learn from our mistakes and adjust quickly to better support children. I applaud our preschools, teachers, and families in taking the biggest impact on our youngest learners.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
People can learn more about the Denver Preschool Program on our website at DPP.ORG. If you are a Denver resident with a four-year-old your child may be eligible for tuition support. If you don’t have a child please spread our information to someone who does. It’s never too early to start looking for preschool.
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