Educare Milwaukee celebrates a decade of serving children and families

Educare Milwaukee has made an impact on young children and their families for 10 years—and counting.

What’s so exciting for us and I think for everyone that was there in the beginning is that Educare works. It’s working for kids, it’s working for families, it’s working for the community. It’s something that we can all be very proud of and know is important to sustain for the sake of all of us really,” Peter Buffett said. He and his wife, Jennifer, have been investors and champions of the school since before it opened.

“We need this, and we need to stick with it. We need to see and know that these are investments over the long haul and that they are going to work,” Jennifer Buffett said.

Educare Milwaukee, which opened as the third Educare school in the country and is the only Educare in Wisconsin, has grown to serve 166 students a year in 19 classrooms. The school employs 55 staff members and provides more than 100 hours of staff development each year.

Over the years, Educare Milwaukee has achieved many accomplishments as a high-quality early childhood school dedicated to serving its children, families and community, including:

  • Establishing a research partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for data collection and program evaluation
  • Partnering with the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center with field trips to the center and Audubon staff visits to the school
  • Creating a community garden learning experience for children and families by growing lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, basil, cilantro and more
  • Enriching students’ exposure to the arts by having them create artwork to display at the Milwaukee Art Museum during a family-day program
  • Providing music classes with teachers and performers from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
  • Graduating Educare children who have gone on to further their education at schools like Milwaukee College Prep, St. Marcus Academy and Woodlands School

On November 30, 2016, friends of Educare and Next Door, Educare Milwaukee’s parent organization, came together to celebrate these accomplishments and the 10th anniversary of the school. The event honored some of Educare Milwaukee’s leading investors and partners, including the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, the Ounce of Prevention Fund, and Jennifer and Peter Buffett.

The Buffetts previously lived in Milwaukee and wanted to see the Educare network expand to the city. They contributed to the fundraising campaign to build the school at Next Door and remain devoted champions of the program.

“Most of you know me as the son of a famous investor, and so I think I should give you some investment advice, and that would be to invest in the future of Milwaukee by investing in the future of our children and the best place to do that is Educare and Next Door,” Buffett said via video at the event, which raised approximately $200,000 to support the children and staff of Educare Milwaukee.

“We are so grateful to our local community supporters for their generosity,” said Dr. Tracey Sparrow, Next Door president. “This kind of commitment helps Next Door keep our Educare children and families on track for success in school and beyond.”