Tag: tapestry foundation

Spring Play To Learn Classes Graduate

As our Play To Learn program runs on a school year schedule, we just wrapped up our spring semester and are launching our summer groups with about 30 families participating. This year so far, a total of 204 families graduated from Play To Learn or an extension class through YMCA, which is a combination of Play To Learn and YMCA’s Early Learning Readiness program. Through Play To Learn, not only did young children leave with new skills but parents learned how to foster their child’s optimal development at home. Parents and children attended classes together with the following themes: • Social skills • Gross motor skills • Fine motor skills • Language Development • Emotional regulation skills • Geometry • Numeracy • Emerging Literacy “Honestly, this program did help my daughter a lot. My children are naturally very shy and now my daughter is less introverted and more social. I really did see a huge change in my daughter and I highly recommend the class. The reason I never missed a class is because I could tell my daughter loved being there and benefited greatly.” –Maria R. Attendees also learned digital literacy skills by practicing various tasks and using the pre-loaded educational apps on the Samsung tablets provided by United Way for Greater Austin. It is important to bridge the “digital divide” between low-income families and their more affluent peers now more than ever. Internet access is no longer a luxury but a necessity for individuals to complete homework, fill […]

Read More

AISD Doubles Capacity For Pre-K3 Next Year

(Via Austin ISD Press Release) Austin ISD will nearly double its capacity to teach prekindergarten for three-year-olds (Pre-K3) next year, thanks to funding from local donors. View photos from the press conference at Pleasant Hill Elementary on May 5th. “When students have a strong start, they have a strong future,” Superintendent Paul Cruz said. “We want make sure all students are given a path to success. Starting early improves the chance that students graduate college-, career- and life-ready.” AISD will be able to add Pre-K3 to 13 more schools: Barrington, Casey, Harris, Houston, Jordan, Kocurek, Metz, Ortega, Palm, Perez, Read, Sanchez and Widen elementary schools. Three years ago, AISD offered the Pre-K3 program to 42 three-year-old students at two pilot schools. This year, the program expanded to provide Pre-K3 for 550 three-year-old students funded by United Way for Greater Austin and its major donors. Next year, there will be space for more than 1,000 students thanks to the latest expansion. The partners who made this expansion possible: Buena Vista Foundation, Cullen Family Charitable Foundation, the Gottesman Family, Tapestry Foundation and Eric Stumberg with support from United Way for Greater Austin. AISD Early Childhood Director, Jacquie Porter, emphasized the strong foundation students build in Pre-K. “Prekindergarten is more than just shapes and colors. It’s about getting students ready for life,” Porter said. “In prekindergarten, students learn socializing, social and emotional learning, and how to work with others.” Registration for Pre-K is open through the beginning of the school year. However, capacity at some schools […]

Read More

Tapestry Foundation grant will expand Play To Learn

In 2011, United Way for Greater Austin launched the Play To Learn program, made possible through a Tapestry Foundation grant. As a result of the grant, thirty parents received UWATX’s unique eight-week course providing free education for underserved parents and their 2- and 3-year-old children. Since then, more than 400 families have benefitted from the Play To Learn program. We are pleased to announce that in 2015, the Tapestry Foundation will help this program expand even further with an additional $75,000 grant given to UWATX. The Tapestry Foundation is a private family foundation that awards grants to Austin organizations providing programs around early childhood and parenting education, as well as literacy-based and social-emotional learning programs. Thanks to initial grants from the Tapestry Foundation, UWATX was able to gain additional funders in support of the project, including Samsung, Famigo, Applied Materials, Daniels Fund and some very generous private donors, as well as additional partners. From 2000 to 2010, Austin experienced a 71% increase in the number of low-income children under the age of 6. Children living in poverty face risks other children may not, and are less likely to enter school socially, emotionally and cognitively ready.  The Play To Learn program works by intervening before a child enters kindergarten, rather than children entering school unprepared and having to be caught up, wasting school districts’ time and money in additional resources. Additionally, the child now has a better chance of graduating high school and college, and securing a job with a livable wage. […]

Read More