. . . helping people, strengthening families, building communities

The Child Care Division of Catholic Charities of Denver has developed an "Adopt a Classroom" program designed to create and build a mutually beneficial relationship between their Head Start program and Denver businesses.

Created last year by Family Service Worker Erin O'Donnell, it has already enjoyed early success, receiving support from businesses such as EON Office Products and Aetna Insurance.

Catholic Charities Head Start Program

Head Start is a preschool program with the goal of preparing low-income children for kindergarten, thus giving them a "head start" they might not otherwise have. In addition to furnishing them with the opportunity and tools to learn, part of preparing these children for kindergarten extends to health and nutrition services. Head Start does not just stop at providing comprehensive services to children; we also offer services to the families of the children who participate in our program. These services include holding monthly parent education classes and assisting families in finding the resources they need. The families of our children are seen as an essential part of their child's school experience, after all, parents are a child's first teachers.

Why We Need Your Help

Many resources are needed to offer this comprehensive service, such as staff, supplies, and educational materials. However, the money we receive from our Head Start Federal Grant only covers approximately 60% of the cost to provide this low-cost or free service to low-income children and their families. Furthermore, in order to receive funding, each Head Start delegate is required to raise in-kind contributions that total 25% of the grant funds we receive. Your contribution will help us reach that goal, while at the same time providing your business with the opportunity to support a local program benefitting children and families. Your contribution will help us purchase needed classroom materials, pay for speakers to present at parent education sessions, help supplement administrative costs (10% or less of your donation will be used toward these costs), and much more. And most of all it's an investment in our future!

Program Details

Adopt-a-Classroom is a flexible program designed to create and build a mutually beneficial relationship between our Head Start Program and your business. Through this program, local businesses adopt a classroom for one program year, i.e. August 2002-June 2003. As stated before, your tax deductible donation will help us improve the service we provide to participating children and their families. However, the opportunity to support our efforts reaches beyond the monetary contribution. Additional opportunities include:

*employees from your business can volunteer in the classroom and/or assist with projects that can be completed outside of the school.

*employees can collaborate on a particular project such as building needed equipment for the classroom.

*employees can have a school supply or food drive.

*employees can bring in old clothes, toys, books, or household items to donate to our families.

*employees can adopt one or more families in our program who are in need of holiday assistance, such as giving gifts to the family and/or providing food for a holiday dinner.

Getting Started

Once your company has made the commitment to adopt one of our Head Start classrooms, you will decide the donation amount your company is willing to contribute. All adopt-a-classroom participating businesses have the same collaboration opportunities regardless of the donation category chosen. We offer these three options:

*Silver Donor - $1,000 tax deductible donation
*Gold Donor - ,500 tax deductible donation
*Platinum Donor - ,000 tax deductible donation

Catholic Charities will then identify which classroom will become your adopted classroom for the school year. Representatives from your company can meet with center staff to learn more about the needs of the classrom and the children and families enrolled in the class. Together, we can discuss the kinds of activities that your business would like to undertake, as well as volunteer opportunities.

Benefits and Recognition

*We will display a plaque in the entrance to the classroom stating that your company has adopted the classroom.

*Your company will be recognized in the "adopted" clasroom's center newsletter and in the Catholic Charities Newsletter-"Charities Today"

*Your company will be given a plaque for your office stating that you have adopted a Head Start Classroom.

*The Adopt-a-Classroom Program provides your company with an opportunity to help young children and families in the local community, while at the same time bringing together employees to help in very simple ways.