Family Star serves as a cornerstone of strong family and community bonds in our Denver neighborhoods. We are well-known and respected in the community and have many partnerships throughout the community to serve three purposes:
1. Ensuring Family Star’s uncompromising quality and ensuring that a large number of children who can benefit most can access Family Star’s excellent program.
Family Star partners with education and training institutions to sustain high levels of professional staff development. Our close relationship with The Montessori Institute, an internationally renowned Montessori training center based in Denver, has been foundational to Family Star’s quality throughout our history.
Our partnership with Early Head Start and with Denver Department of Human Services/ CCAP helps ensure that infants and toddlers living in poverty can access this excellent program every year. Our partnerships with Denver Great Kids Head Start, Denver Preschool Program, and Mile High United Way help ensure that young children ages 3 – 6 from families living in poverty can access Family Star’s program.
2. Ensuring that Family Star children and families can access the wealth of community resources that will meet their needs.
Family Star partners with providers of community resources such as health, mental health, and substance abuse services to assure that children and families have resources they need, including a medical home/ family doctor, immunizations, information, housing resources and more. These community providers include The Children’s Hospital; Denver Health; Denver Options; JFK Partners; the Center for Hearing, Speech, and Language; Westside Dental Services; Early Intervention Colorado; Operation Frontline Colorado; the Center for Work Education and Employment; and Colorado Bright Beginnings. Family Star works in partnership with these various agencies in order to ensure continuity of services to Denver children and families.
Family Star partners with educational programs to ensure successful transitions as students leave our school. We also partner with Head Start programs, Denver Public Schools and other preschool and kindergarten providers to assure that Family Star students and their families are well prepared to successfully navigate transitions from Family Star to the next educational level.
3. Partnering to “inspire a movement for educating the child’s potential”
Family Star’s origins reflect grassroots efforts to transform a community deeply impacted by poverty and the organization continues to receive broad and longstanding support for its early childhood education program. This support assures Family Star’s sustainability as a relevant and responsive program in the community. Family Star is frequently sought to lead quality improvement efforts for other early childhood education providers and this is very consistent with our vision of inspiring a movement for quality early childhood education for all.
Some current exciting efforts in this regard:
Family Star is Leading Quality Improvement in the Field
- Family Star is one of 22 Head Start programs in the country working together with Head Start and Zero to Three to study ways of partnering with Family Child Care providers to raise the quality of services in these environments where the majority of young children receive care.
- Family Star is working together with Early Learning Ventures and Mile High United Way to explore ways of partnering with other early childhood providers in sharing back office services and training opportunities, with the intention that all participating early childhood education programs will strengthen their program quality and sustainability.
- Due to Family Star’s reputation as an exemplary early childhood education program, we receive many requests for internship and observation opportunities, so that students (of pediatrics, psychology, nursing, and education) can learn what healthy child development and excellent early childhood education environments look like. Family Star provides training and observation opportunities to programs such as The Children’s Hospital (TCH) Pediatric Residency, University of Denver Morgridge School of Education Counseling Psychology graduate school, Regis University School of Nursing, Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, and The Montessori Institute.
- Family Star also participates very actively in community planning and advocacy efforts to strengthen early childhood education services to children, working together with organizations such as Denver Great Kids Head Start, the Denver Mayor’s Office for Education and Children, the Denver Early Childhood Council, the Colorado Head Start Association, the Denver Child Care Task Force, the Denver Preschool Program Advisory Board, the Colorado Preschool Program, and the Denver Department of Human Services.
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Partner with Family Star
Everyone wants their children to have the best life and the best future. The foundations for life success are developed in the early years, and they include things like motivation, the ability to work with others, attention, self-regulation, and the ability to defer gratification.
Over the past 20 years, we at Family Star have learned a great deal about how to “prepare the environment” in ways that maximize these early childhood learning opportunities.
Some of the elements of environments that help promote development of these foundational abilities in young children follow:
• Fill the environment with opportunities for active learning
• Create an environment that allows for high levels of choice and self-direction
• Establish an environment that welcomes mistakes and errors as opportunities for learning
• Make learning opportunities contextual
• Make the environment orderly
• Create an environment that is characterized by high expectations and high regard, low fear and anxiety
• Allow children to work within a mixed-age community
For additional detail on the above: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (303) 477-7827