Bright Beginnings wrote -
Did you know that there are currently approximately 2,700 children under the age of six who are experiencing homelessness in Washington, DC? In what is one of the most expensive cities in the United States to raise a family, the need for Bright Beginnings’ services for families with young children and without homes has never been more acute.
For more than 28 years, Bright Beginnings has provided targeted education and social services to young children and families caught in the cycle of intergenerational poverty and homelessness. Initially founded in 1990 as a small preschool for 26 children in the basement of the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA, Bright Beginnings has grown into a comprehensive, trauma-informed family learning organization with two state-of-the-art centers that serve 350 children (ages 0-5) and their families annually.
Fully accredited by NAEYC and rated as a Gold Level (highest) child development center by OSSE, Bright Beginnings is recognized for our full-day, trauma-informed early childhood education programming and comprehensive wrap-around services. Our three-part mission is to: (1) provide young children experiencing homelessness with a safe, nurturing educational environment; (2) prepare them to enter kindergarten ready to learn; and (3) support their parents in stabilizing their home lives and becoming self-sufficient.
Early childhood education plays an important role in closing persistent opportunity and achievement gaps, and access to quality education during formative years is inextricably linked to greater positive academic and life outcomes. As the first school that the children we serve attend, we have a unique opportunity to help position them on a positive trajectory, the benefits of which can last for years to come.
In addition to providing early education programming at no cost to families experiencing homelessness, Bright Beginnings also provides a robust workforce development program and other wrap-around family services that support children and parents in transitioning from crisis to self-sufficiency. Last year, we provided comprehensive education, therapeutic, health, and wrap-around services to more than 300 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers experiencing homelessness as well as their families. All children progressed toward age-appropriate developmental milestones. Additionally, last year, 114 parents participated in Bright Beginnings’ Workforce Development Program. They all prepared education and/or employment plans, 35 progressed toward non-employment life skills goals, 50 completed resumes, 25 advanced their education, 22 were offered job interviews, and 15 secured employment.
Our formula works, but we cannot perform this important work without your help. Please donate today and help support the most vulnerable children and families in the District of Columbia!