Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bellevue Public Schools to close Early Childhood Center

Please consider adding your voice to this petition to reconsider the district's decision to close the ECC as a cost-saving measure.
Read the petition (and sign it, if you feel strongly) by clicking here.

This is the response I shared yesterday:
As a mother of three adult daughters, and as the Children's Services Librarian for Bellevue Public Library, I know from experience the importance of developing a strong foundation during the first five years of a child's life. Research has shown that the quality of this foundation greatly influences the child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and in life. Parents (in using this term I am including grandparents and others who are involved in raising children) must have the tools needed to nurture, guide, and instruct their children during these formative years. The ECC provides myriad resources for Bellevue parents: a welcoming, supportive staff of trained educators; a clean, safe, inviting building; a community-within-a-community of parents who look to the ECC, and to each other, for support, reassurance, and affirmation; and a place where children and parents can socialize, develop friendships, and become more connected with the Bellevue community. Few Bellevue households would be able to match the amount, variety and high quality of the toys, craft supplies, books, play equipment, musical instruments, etc. that the ECC makes available to its young visitors. According to the Early Childhood Program page on the district’s website, "Bellevue Public Schools partners with families and the community to help ignite a love of learning in children. The programs are intended to compliment [sic] the education that a child receives at home through playtime, books and conversation. All early childhood programs are provided at no cost to the family." The district knows the value of investing in programs that “ignite a love of learning.” The students most likely to enter school “ready to learn” are those whose first years have been lived in environments rich in language, art, music, exploration, character development and affection. It would be a great disservice to Bellevue’s young families to discontinue this effective and highly-regarded program. I strongly support efforts to continue funding for the Early Childhood Center.

~ Mrs. B.

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