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Child Crisis Arizona Expands Mesa Head Start Services With Help From Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation
Some of the East Valley’s youngest and most vulnerable students will now have an even better shot at academic success, thanks to $200,000 grant given to Child Crisis Arizona by The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.
The gift, in cooperation with a grant from Thunderbirds Charities, allowed Child Crisis Arizona and Maricopa County Head Start to expand services at their Mesa facility so that it can accommodate not only 1-to-3-year-old children, as it has done in the past, but also children ages 4 and 5.
In addition to accommodating a broader age group and filling the educational gap between early childhood and kindergarten, the donated money helped finance the remodeling of the Mesa facility’s 4,300 square-foot space, funding the creation of two new classrooms as well as child-size bathroom facilities and staff offices.
“When children are introduced to quality education services at a young age, they are more likely to excel in school and life,” said businesswoman Renee Parsons. “Child Crisis Arizona is truly giving these children a head start on a bright future.”
Designed to help enhance school readiness among children from low-income families, Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide services that support the mental social, physical and emotional needs of kids from birth through age 5. Child Crisis Arizona’s Early Head Start program has had proven, positive effects on participants, enhancing learning outcomes for students while giving them the tools and resources they need as they head into kindergarten.
“Thanks to this grant, we are able to expand our education programs and provide valuable services to families, many of whom lack access to quality early childhood education or other parenting resources,” said Child Crisis Arizona Chief Executive Officer Torrie Taj. “Having the support of philanthropic leaders like Bob and Renee Parsons means that we are able to work toward our vision of safe kids…strong families.”
A recent study revealed that the number of children living in poverty within Mesa city limits jumped 200 percent in recent years, highlighting a substantial need for increased programming that caters to this demographic.
“Education is key to a better life,” said Bob Parsons, of the decision to make the donation. “Providing education to children early, especially those in underserved populations, has a huge impact on their chances for success and ultimately better job opportunities as adults.”