October 22, 2019
- During FY19, St. Michael’s continued to expand its Infant Program after renovations in 2017 allowed room to triple the number enrolled for this population. This effort aligns with our Strategic Plan to create a steady enrollment to fill our Toddler Program and eventually our Pre-K Program as well as makes sure that families bond as they journey together through the early education years.
- 15 students graduated from Pre-K and transitioned successfully to public, private or charter schools throughout New Castle County.
- School leadership was active on the advocacy front through various political and media outlets, pushing for greater investment in and support for quality early childhood programs. St. Michael’s received coverage in the Delaware Business Times and published several Op-Eds on DelawareOnline.com. We hosted visits from Rep. Laura Sturgeon, First Lady Tracey Carney, City Council President Hanifa Shabazz and City Council Member Michelle Harlee.
- Executive Director Lucinda Ross joined members of Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children (DeAEYC) at the NAEYC Public Policy Forum in Washington, DC in March to sharpen their advocacy skills, meet with members of Delaware’s Congress and hear from national policy leaders. Lucinda and the DeAEYC team met with U.S. Senator Tom Carper as well as staff from U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester and U.S. Senator Chris Coons’ offices to discuss the importance of increasing funding in quality early education and supporting professionals in the field. Lucinda also became the Board President of DeAEYC.
- Six of our teachers completed the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™, the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE. Four teachers completed their portfolios for their CDA. Two teachers completed TECE 2 (Training in Early Care and Education). Four teachers continue to take classes towards either their Associates or Bachelors degree. One teacher completed the American Sign Language certification. Teachers also benefitted from the state’s T.E.A.C.H. and Wage$ programs which provide scholarships and compensation for those working in licensed early care and education or school age programs and who are pursuing formal ECE education.
- As a participating organization, St. Michael’s hosted the kickoff event for the “Get Delaware Reading-Wilmington” initiative, part of the Move the Needle collaboration between the United Way of Delaware, Nemours, the Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children and over 10 other community partners. The multi-year program provides children ages 4 and 5, their teachers and families with a curriculum and comprehensive package of support services designed to help city of Wilmington students become grade-level readers by the end of third grade.
- Through the “Partnering with Parents” grant from Prevent Child Abuse Delaware, St. Michael’s continued to encourage family involvement. We offered over 15 family activities and trainings to build school community, strengthen the family unit and develop peer-to-peer parent bonds. We also held our first “St. Michael’s Family Fun Day at the Blue Rocks” thanks to generous sponsors.
- We continued to seek and collaborate with new community partners to strengthen and maximize our resources, including the Christina Cultural Arts Center, the Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children and the Wilmington Early Care and Education Council (WECAC). Many longstanding partners continued their support of our mission during the year through volunteering, service collaboration, in-kind or financial gifts, such as the Wilmington Police and Fire Departments, YMCA, Delaware Historical Society, Read Aloud Delaware, Highmark, PNC Bank, Richards, Layton & Finger, Christ Church Christiana Hundred, Wilmington Garden Day, Wilmington Flower Market, local foundations, downtown businesses and churches, the City of Wilmington, school districts, our Board members and many more.
- St. Michael’s could not continue our important work without the generosity of so many friends in the community and we are truly grateful!