Our little childcare center has survived some tough financial times since we opened our doors in 1972 to serve the children of educators working with disadvantaged youth. We've evolved since then into a progressive, award-winning, NAEYC certified jewel of an educational center. We have an enrollment of 50 and a dedicated staff of 18. But this virus has brought challenges unlike any we’ve seen.
Our teachers transformed into virtual educators almost overnight. There are daily meetings, book readings, virtual walks in the woods, Yoga, and Sign Language instruction with the children, who range from 18 months to 5 years old. Under the guidance of our Executive Director, Ronnie Weinberger, we transformed from a Reggio Emilia based philosophy with no screens, to a fully digital preschool. Public schools in the area, with a disaster plan already in place, took a week of staff development and coordination to start e-learning. There was no e-learning paradigm for preschool education at Oak Lane. Our amazing teachers developed the entire program on their own and had the first lessons online in 3 days.
We need your help. Our students' families are struggling. Several students have had to withdraw. Other families have requested tuition relief and we've issued a partial tuition rebate for April. Our entire funding stream depends on tuition and one spring fundraiser, which we've had to cancel. We have no endowment to fall back on. With reduced tuition, we fear we will not be able to continue paying the staff, who are the heart of the program. We kindly ask that you join us in keeping Oak Lane alive. We've served children in our community for 48 years. We want to keep the center an integral part of this community throughout this global emergency and into the future.