(October 21, 2010)—The Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado (Federation) is pleased to announce it has awarded a total of $85,000 in scholarship funds to a dozen early childhood education (ECE) centers located across the Colorado Jewish community:
- BMH-BJ Congregation
- B’nai Chaim
- Boulder JCC
- Boulder Jewish Day School
- Chabad Garden, South Metro
- Denver Academy of Torah
- Hebrew Educational Alliance
- Hillel Academy
- Robert E. Loup JCC
- Rodef Shalom
- Temple Emanuel
- Temple Sinai
The funds were made available from Federation’s new Early Childhood Education Scholarship Fund (Fund), generously funded by Rose Community Foundation (Rose). Federation has partnered with Rose to create new sources of funding to provide ECE scholarships for families in need who have children currently enrolled in any of the twelve Denver/Boulder Jewish ECE centers. By augmenting the current level of available scholarships, these centers now have help to “fill the gap” that exists between funds currently available and requests for assistance. For middle class and at-risk families hit hard by the economy, they will be able to continue providing their young children with a high-quality Jewish ECE.
The awards for the $85,000 in scholarship funds were for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years, and were awarded based on per capita student enrollment. Each ECE Center was responsible for determining the demonstrated financial need of families applying for this assistance—applications for early childhood scholarships were not accepted by Federation directly. To qualify, recipient Centers must have met criteria in the following areas:
- Health, safety, and quality-of-programming requirements
- Documented history of providing need-based scholarships for at least one year
- Compliance with specified reporting deadlines
- Publicity of available scholarship assistance
The $85,000 awarded is part of a larger grant to Federation from Rose, totaling $484,000 over three years. Federation and Rose will work together to provide a total of $200,000 to fund the need-based scholarships to be awarded for qualified recipients over a period of two years: $100,000 in 2010-2011 and $100,000 in 2011-2012. Federation will raise a minimum of $50,000, and Rose will provide up to a $50,000 dollar-for-dollar match, during EACH of those two years. In addition, the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) will create a new $500,000 restricted endowment that would provide ongoing funding for these scholarships in perpetuity. During the next three years, Federation and the Foundation will raise a minimum of $250,000 to create the endowment, and Rose will provide a $250,000 Challenge Grant once those funds are secured. Additionally, Rose awarded Federation $49,000 to assist in creating a volunteer committee to govern the Fund, and help to assist in creating the new endowment and share the news to local families in need.
Nancy Gart, chair of Federation’s Early Childhood Education Scholarship Fund Committee, states, “Research shows that positive experiences at Jewish Early Childhood Education centers can determine whether or not a family continues to pursue Jewish connections and a Jewish education throughout their lives. By working together with Rose Community Foundation, Federation provided the first $85,000 in additional scholarships that will enable parents to continue to provide their children with access to the highest-quality Jewish early childhood education available in our community. We are grateful to Rose for providing us with the opportunity to partner with them on this very important initiative, and we look forward to working with them over the coming years to make more scholarship funds available, including the $100,000 for 2010-2011 school year now available.”
Cindy Wolfe, director of early childhood education at Temple Emanuel, adds, “This additional funding comes at a time when both early childhood education centers and families are being asked to make tough choices regarding the education of our community’s children. Thanks to these additional funds, ECE centers across our community will be able to provide valuable financial assistance to even more families who need it. Thank you to Federation and Rose for providing our centers with a place to turn for help during these challenging economic times. The scholarships you are providing will make a difference in the lives of so many children and families throughout the Denver/ Boulder Jewish community, and for that we are extremely grateful.”
Importantly, children under age five who have never attended a Denver/Boulder Jewish Early Childhood Center may also be eligible for MazelTot, a Rose Community Foundation initiative, which provides discounts to attend ECE centers along with information about other resources for young families. Please see the MazelTot website for more information at www.mazeltot.org.
Federation has recently secured pledges totaling more than $49,000 in scholarship funds to be provided during the 2010-2011 school year, and Rose will provide up to an additional $50,000 in scholarship funds through a dollar-for-dollar matching grant. Federation will now focus fundraising efforts on securing pledges towards the 2011-2012 scholarship fund match, as well as raising funds for the $250,000 endowment challenge. For more information—or to make a tax-deductible donation in support of this initiative—please contact Dirk Bird, JCF’s executive director, at 303.316.6448 or firstname.lastname@example.org.