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‘Kick Up Your Heels’ at Seeds fund-raiser

Seeds of Learning early care and education center is hosting the third annual Little Black Dress event March 3.

We can’t wait to see what your heels and little black dress look like. You already have them, don’t you?

Early care and education is fundamental in building and sustaining a healthy community. Community development and growth will not move forward without it. Attracting businesses to our community is dependent on early care and education being available. Whether potential citizens of Archuleta County have children or not, their lives will be affected directly or indirectly if childcare is not available. For the families that have young children, childcare is an absolute necessity if they want to enter the workforce. Employers report that child care problems force employees to lose work time. Reliable early care and education allows working parents to arrive at work on time, miss fewer days of work, be more productive on the job and stay employed. Believe it or not, people that don’t have young children at home are also affected by the lack of childcare in the community. Many people that work at the grocery store, dentist office, physical therapist office, mechanics shop, favorite restaurant or just about anywhere else you go in Pagosa Springs need childcare. Without reliable care, they would not be able to work and be gainfully employed at the businesses we need to live and thrive here.

When the new $1.3 million Seeds of Learning facility was built five years ago, about $200,000 came from within Archuleta County. The remaining $1.1 million came from outside the county. Those monies coming into the county were definitely a shot in the arm for the economy of Pagosa Springs! Seeds of Learning continues to bring in over $100,000 to Archuleta County annually in grants and donations.

Seeds of Learning serves over eighty-percent low income families. Research shows that far too many children enter school ill-prepared to learn, and that children who start behind usually remain behind. At the same time, studies consistently show that high-quality pre-kindergarten programs can close the achievement gap. Support in these early years means a child is more likely to do well and remain in school, and to become productive contributing members of a community. The benefits that come from high quality early care and education programs far outweigh their costs. By adequately funding early care and education, we can improve school success and increase economic productivity.

As with all education in America, parents cannot meet the full cost of providing it for their children. Public schools are funded by tax payer monies. Benefactors subsidize tuition at prestigious universities such as Harvard and Yale. Seeds of Learning is no different. Tuition covers about 65% of the actual cost of enrollment. Individual donations (benefactors), grants and fund-raisers subsidize the remaining cost.

Seeds of Learning annual fund-raiser monies go toward the general operating budget of maintaining their high quality early care and educational program. Please consider attending the Little Black Dress, “Kick Up Your Heels” fund-raising event, March 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Ross Aragon Community Center to support this program. It will be an elegant, women-only event that will entice you to kick up your heels as you watch a magical musical production. And, who knows, there might be an exotic dancer or two.

Tickets are on sale at Seeds of Learning or you can call 264-5513 for more information.

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