Join Ashley for a day in the Early Learning Center – and see the impact giving has in our community
DECEMBER 1, 2015: At Wellspring Family Services, we help families experiencing homelessness or other crises stabilize and take the next step towards building a better future. On this Giving Tuesday, we’re taking our community on a virtual tour of one our programs, the Early Learning Center, so people can see the joy they bring to children and families.
Wellspring’s Early Learning Center is structured to give young children going through crisis the specialized attention they need, so that they can “rewire" and repair the negative impacts of trauma on their developing brains and grow to be healthy adults.
- Curious about brain development? We are one of just 10 nonprofits in North America selected for a 3-year initiative, Change in Mind: Applying Neurosciences to Revitalize Communities.
8 am - READY TO SOAR!
Ashely has just arrived for a day of learning and exploration in Wellspring’s Early Learning Center. Kids experiencing trauma like homelessness often develop significant developmental delays, but with the right support, they can thrive. Your gift makes this possible.
9 am - START THE DAY OFF RIGHT!
Fresh fruit, yogurt and whole grain breads fire up the brain, but breakfast is also a time for Ashley and her friends to enjoy family-style meals. In Wellspring's Early Learning Center, children learn to share, hold a conversation, build vocabulary and establish healthy habits -- all while eating.
9:30 am - SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK, ASHLEY?
Learning ABCs is a milestone, but so is talking about thoughts, or following 3-step directions. Throughout her day, Ashely’s teachers monitor her progress on language, literacy, math and other learning goals, while also paying close attention to her social-emotional development, and fine and gross motor skills.
Wellspring's Early Learning Program is designed to give kids experiencing homelessness a safe, supportive and enriching environment to develop the skills they’ll need in kindergarten.
10:15 am - BOUNCING, ROCKING, LAUGHING. CHECK, CHECK, AND CHECK!
Ashley’s hitting her benchmarks and having a great day, but if she were struggling, Wellspring has the right staff on hand, with wrap-around support built into the program:
- A child mental health specialist, available to work with children one-on-one through play therapy
- 1 teacher for every 5 students
- A nurse to provide needed health screenings and referrals
- Family support workers to help connect parents to resources and provide opportunities for parents to learn more about how they can support their child’s developmental needs
The end result? Children experiencing trauma hit their other developmental milestones, including learning how to express a healthy range of emotions and building strong relationships.
11 am - ROLL IT OUT
Ashely and friends are enjoying free play, using their creative skills, while their teacher tucks in mini-lessons. For instance, looping play activity back to a book they’ve been discussing, or teaching them an art technique.
11:30 am - LUNCHTIME!
Nutrition is a core learning area for kids in Wellspring’s Early Learning Center. Children take field trips to learn where food comes from, and tasting trips to the Farmer’s Market. They even make their own smoothies. The goal? Help kids develop healthy attitudes about healthy food.
12:30 pm - ASHLEY HAS NAP TIME DOWN!
She has her own mat and blankets, and she sets up her bed herself. Scheduled rest is important, especially for kids experiencing homelessness who may not get a good night’s sleep. Nap time is important for teachers, too. After helping kids transition to rest, they record their observations. Are children reaching their milestones? Is extra support needed? Where are they excelling?
2:30 pm - ALL RESTED AND READY TO CREATE!
What kind of home would a bird want?
4 pm - BEHIND THE SCENES:
While Ashley creates and gets more outside play time, her mom shops in the Baby Boutique, Wellspring’s free store for kids' essentials. Last year, the store logged 4,022 shopping trips (and distributed 50,331 diapers!). Community support makes this possible.
4:30 pm - AND THAT’S A WRAP!
Ashley and her mom are calling it a day. Last year, Wellspring welcomed 80 children into our Early Learning Center – and 71 of them demonstrated significant increases in age-appropriate skills.
Across our programs, we helped about 3,800 individuals last year – and most of them were kids (80 percent). Your gift today will help Ashley, her family, and hundreds more take the next step to build a better life.
About Giving Tuesday:
Giving Tuesday is a global day to give back and help others through donations, time, good deeds or voice. Organizers use social media to spread the message. Last year, it helped raise an estimated $46 million worldwide, according to companies that process online donations for nonprofits.
What donations to Wellspring Family Services support:
Donations support our Community Services:
- Housing Services
- The Early Learning Center
- The Baby Boutique, our free store for children’s essentials
- Domestic violence intervention
- Parent-child services to support infant and toddler mental health.
Here are examples of what your donation can provide:
- $100 stabilizes a homeless family living in their car with case management, and their first night of food and shelter.
- $60 provides 10 homeless families a week of diapers for their infants.
Early Learning Center
- $100 provides a homeless child a week of enriching care and instruction from a preschool teacher with specialized training to address trauma and toxic stress.
Curious about how the community can intervene effectively and help kids and families build resilience and thrive? Here are some resources we recommend:
- "This is about being able to plan for a future. To have a future." A theory of change
- What's toxic stress? Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child explains.
- How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime (Ted talk, by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris)