June 26, 2013
White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, Mayor Vincent Gray and early education supporters joined the children, families and staff of Educare of Washington, DC, the morning of June 12 to celebrate the school's one-year anniversary.
"Educare is an absolute model," said Mayor Gray, who spoke at the event. "It's a model of services being provided to very young children. It's a model of services being provided to children's families. It is a model of how we also develop teachers who understand how to serve children at the very early stages."
Educare of Washington, DC, serves children from six weeks to 5 years old and is one of 18 high-quality early childhood schools in the Educare Learning Network. Located in the Kenilworth-Parkside community, the school is part of the D.C. Promise Neighborhoods Initiative.
In her remarks, Jarrett advocated for President Barack Obama's plan to expand access to quality early learning programs. She also praised Educare for taking "a comprehensive approach in closing the achievement gap by applying best practices and the latest research to more effectively educate our youngest children."
J.B. Pritzker, president of the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, said Educare can serve as a model for the nation. "I'm very, very passionate about making high-quality early learning opportunities available to every young child in America," Pritzker said. "And I see Educare as the gold standard, truly the highest standard for how we hope to achieve that audacious goal."
Lillimae Bonilla, a parent from Educare of Washington, DC, spoke about how the school has taught her daughter "to be kind, respectful, considerate and very creative" and has helped her family transition out of homelessness.