Vail Daily letter: A successful year | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: A successful year

The Family Learning Center appreciates the dedication and hard work of Battle Mountain’s National Honor Society in hosting the successful 2014 Art Battle which was held on Nov. 18. With the generous sponsorship by Action for Children, this event raised over $3,000 in donations and supplies to support the early childhood programs at The Family Learning Center, as well as the art program at Battle Mountain High School. The talented high school artists competed and sold their works of art to community supporters, and local artists donated artwork and jewelry as auction items. A special thanks to Danny Ploughman for his acoustic and vocal talent which enhanced the event’s atmosphere.

What a difference a year makes! In December of 2013, The Family Learning Center announced it would have to close its doors because of financial difficulties. With tremendous support throughout the Vail Valley, 2014 has been a year of celebration for our community. Enrollment has increased 20 percent since September of 2013, we have additional children enrolled through Eagle County School District’s Colorado Preschool Program, and we continue to be the only private preschool in the Vail Valley to partner with Early Head Start. The Family Learning Center especially thanks the Eagle County Board of Commissioners’ significant support, which enabled us to continue to serve children of working families in Eagle County while we worked to increase funding from foundations.

Community partnerships have been a key to 2014’s success:

• Slifer Designs updated the lobby area and conference room at the Family Learning Center to be more welcoming to our children, families and guests.

• The Mountain Harvest Foundation worked with us to plant a vegetable garden and implement the Growing Gardener’s Curriculum. (The gardening endeavor was a rewarding opportunity to strengthen our family partnerships.)

• The 12th annual Barbara Treat Memorial Golf and Tennis Tournament held in August doubled the number of participating golf teams from 2013.

• A very generous donation from a Family Learning Center board member allowed us to add the Walking Mountains’ Nature Program for Preschoolers on a monthly basis.

• Early Childhood Partners works with teachers, children and families to support high-quality environments for the children of The Family Learning Center.

Throughout the year, the board of trustees of the Family Learning Center contributed countless hours to keep us on a path towards excellence.

The 2014 Art Battle was an especially meaningful event to see our high achieving students supporting early childhood education. Attending a high-quality preschool has a direct, positive impact on a child’s future by setting them up for success to enter our elementary schools as kindergartners. I am proud to live in a community where our high school students took time out of their very busy schedules to benefit our next generation of learners.

Carrie Benway

Program development specialist, Family Learning Center