Educare celebrates grand opening of 21st school

Educare California at Silicon Valley, the 21st school in the Educare Learning Network and the first in California, celebrated its grand opening on October 16. The school provides quality early education for 168 low-income children from birth to age 5.

“It’s so remarkable to see children here learning in a beautiful facility and to have the opportunity to connect with all of you who have been a part of this incredibly diverse partnership that has made this day possible,” said Darcie Green, president, Santa Clara County Board of Education. “My fellow trustees and I are passionate about our quest to close the achievement gap in our community for every single child and Educare is an important step for that end.”

The 28,000-square-foot Educare school is located on the campus of Santee Elementary School and is part of San José’s Franklin-McKinley Children’s Initiative.

The school also includes a family resource center, exhibits from a local children’s museum, and a professional development and research institute to provide training for early childhood educators.

The grand opening celebration featured a performance by Educare children who sang, “All My Friends Are Here With Me!” in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

There were also remarks by several of the school’s partners, elected officials and community members, including US Rep. Mike Honda, 17th District of California; Rudy Rodriguez, president, Franklin-McKinley School District Board of Education; Debra McMannis, director of the Early Education & Support Division, California Department of Education; and San José Mayor Sam Liccardo.

“More than anything I represent a city that is a very grateful recipient of your collaborative creation,” Liccardo said. “We know that it is so critical that we engage early to create opportunities and to broaden education opportunities for children at a very early age.”

“We’re so happy at the City of San José that we have declared this Educare Day.”

Educare California at Silicon Valley joins a network of schools serving more than 3,400 young children and families across the country.

“We are a network that is about the power of change—changing policy, changing education, changing practices—so that every child who needs and deserves a high-quality education has the opportunity to do just that,” said Portia Kennel, senior advisor, Buffett Early Childhood Fund, and founding executive director, Educare Learning Network.

Kennel described how the acorn of the first Educare school in Chicago grew into a strong tree composed of 21 schools across the country—a Network with a shared goal. “We want high-quality education to be the norm for every child and every family.”

Educare California at Silicon Valley is a public-private partnership between organizations including AT&T; Buffett Early Childhood Fund; Children’s Discovery Museum of San José; Cisco; De Anza College; East Side Union High School District; Educare Learning Network; First 5 California; FIRST 5 Santa Clara County; Franklin-McKinley Children’s Initiative, Catholic Charities; Franklin-McKinley School District; Green Standards; The Health Trust; The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation; The Heising-Simons Foundation; George Kaiser Family Foundation; The Opportunity Fund; Ounce of Prevention Fund; The David and Lucile Packard Foundation; Perkins Coie; Polaris Associates; San José Public Library; Santa Clara County Office of Education; S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation; Silicon Valley Leadership Group; Sugimura Finney Architects; US Bank; Verizon; and Warmenhoven Family Foundation.

Watch a short video of Educare children “cutting” the ribbon and check out #educareSV for more coverage of the event on Twitter.