JCF Meets Challenge for Early Childhood Ed Grant

JCF logoThe Jewish Community Foundation (The Foundation) announced today it has successfully met the $250,000 challenge grant from Rose Community Foundation to build a permanent endowment supporting Jewish early childhood education (ECE) scholarships based on need.

We are delighted to announce that we raised $270,000,” said Doug Seserman, the Foundation’s president and CEO.  “Along with the $250,000 from Rose Community Foundation, the funds we raised will create a $520,000 permanent endowment for ECE scholarships.  We appreciate the support from our donors and the commitment from Rose Community Foundation in Jewish early childhood education.“

Jewish ECE programs harness the potential to become gateways to Jewish life and learning for children and families. Engaging families with young children at the most critical point in a family’s development is crucial to their participation in the Jewish community.

“Rose Community Foundation is proud to have worked side-by-side with the Allied Jewish Federation, the Jewish Community Foundation, the Colorado Agency for Jewish Education, and the participating Jewish ECEs for more than seven years,” said Sheila Bugdanowitz, president and CEO of Rose Community Foundation. “This important new source of scholarship funds is one example of our partnership’s efforts.”

We have been fortunate to have an amazing ECE Endowment Chair, Carol Boigon, at the helm of this effort,” said Dirk Bird, the Foundation’s Executive Director.  “Boigon, a former teacher and local politician, is an advocate for education with a laser focus on the need for quality ECE centers with accessibility for all children.  We sincerely appreciate her leadership in spearheading our efforts to build this incredible endowment for our community.”

In 2006, the Jewish Early Childhood Education in Denver and Boulder study uncovered a need for Jewish ECE centers to increase their focus on the following key elements: quality and standards; seamless integration of Jewish content, values and traditions; educator and director training; recruitment and retention; and improved access. A strategic plan was created to address these needs.  Creating scholarship funds for ECE was one goal of this plan.

“Together, we have had collective, sustained impact by diligently implementing the strategic plan our community created to ensure that our youngest learners and their parents are welcomed into high-quality ECE centers,” says Lisa Farber Miller, senior program officer at Rose Community Foundation.

AJF logoIn response, a collaborative effort between Colorado Agency for Jewish Education (CAJE), Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, and Rose Community Foundation, the Colorado Jewish ECE Initiative was born to promote Jewish identity in children and deepen family connections with the Jewish community; improve the quality in ECE centers; and expand educational options for families with young children.

“The sheer number of donors who supported our efforts truly underscores the value of access to quality Jewish early childhood education in our community as well as the confidence in the Foundation as responsible stewards of these assets,” said Dirk Bird, the Foundation’s Executive Director.

“Thanks to more than 65 donors and Rose Community Foundation, our Foundation’s total ECE endowment is $520,000 today,” said Bird.  “This is the first step in building a long-term endowment to support Jewish ECE in our community. Along with our community partners – Rose Community Foundation, CAJE and local Jewish ECE centers – we are helping the Denver metro area to become one of the best places to raise a Jewish child with access to quality Jewish ECE centers. During this three-year fundraising challenge, with additional grant support from Rose Community Foundation totaling $185,000, we have supported over 165 students through scholarships and distributed over $285,000 to qualified ECE centers.”

Carol Boigon, the Foundation’s ECE Endowment Chair said:

We understand and believe in the power of quality Jewish ECE programs in our community.  This initial funding is the cornerstone of the ECE Endowment and it will have a profound and lasting impact on our local Jewish community.”

For more information about the Jewish Community Foundation or the ECE Endowment, visit www.JCFColorado.org or contact Dirk Bird, the Foundation’s Executive Director, at 303.316.6448.

About Talia Haykin

Talia Haykin is the Marketing Senior Manager for Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado. Additionally, she blogs at TaliaSheWrote.com and KosherSheEats.com. See her ROI profile at www.roicommunity.org/users/talia-davis

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