PHOTO ALBUM: Walton, Dumanis Help Promote Low-Income Preschoolers to Kindergarten
Some days, my work’s a grind – this was not one of those days.
Not only did I get to witness some bright (and truly adorable) preschoolers promote to kindergarten, but I also got to hang with former NBA All-Star Bill Walton and San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
You can tell from the photo below that it was a (mostly) good news presser with the folks at Educational Enrichment Systems, which provides early education programs at 22 learning centers throughout San Diego County designed to achieve school readiness.
Recently, the entire 20-plus year program faced extinction due to massive state budget cuts.
Back in June, I organized another presser for EES that wasn’t nearly so jolly. President & CEO Robin Layton feared the absolute worst when word came that as much as 95 percent of her state funds could vanish.
Layton and her team partnered with my little pr shop and the good folks at Capitol Advocacy in Sacramento to raise awareness about this crucial piece in the education puzzle and help stop the bleeding.
The results fell somewhere in between, which will continue to hatchet away at EES’ resources.
Today, Layton announced the organization intends to prevent future budget setbacks by expanding programs through private support and tuition-based admissions.
Smart thinking with ongoing shaky economic forecasts nationwide; smart and necessary.
Dumanis noted today in her remarks that more than 90 percent of criminals in California’s prison systems were truant. That doesn’t mean that all truancy leads to jail, but the majority of those incarcerated were truant problems.
What makes a difference? Building a solid educational foundation for a lifetime love of learning starting in preschool.
Check out my photo album from today for some more shots of kids, parents, teachers and a great showing by San Diego’s media to cover this important issue.