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Day Care offers yearly message

By Staff | Feb 10, 2012

The Shepherdstown Day Care Center continues to focus on providing the best location and resources to care for those youngsters in their charge. The center currently has 94 students enrolled between the ages of three months and 10 years.

The center offers educational programs designed to stimulate development and learning in a safe and secure environment. Located in the former Eastside Grade School, the center has worked to upgrade the building through local funding, grants and donations. A two-story addition was completed in 2006 to allow expansion of the infant and toddler wing. In 2009, the outdoor play area was upgraded. In addition, the parking lot was paved and landscaping designed.

The schoolager’s room and Keith’s Cafe were recently renovated thorugh a generous gift from the Lowe’s Heroes Program and in 2011, the Pack Horse Chapter, NSDAR, donated a flag and flagpole to the campus.

Board president Patty Martineau shared that the school now needs a top coat on the parking lot and a pipe dream, she says, would be to install solar panels.

The center issues it’s State of the Day Care address each year in conjunction with the State of the Union Address. The text of that address follows which offers insight into how the center fared in 2011 and where their plans lie in 2012. The address comes from the board of directors which is made up of a 15-member panel.

The 2012 State of the Day Care Address

Building on Success

Children, parents, friends, staff and Board of the Shepherdstown Day Care Center (SDC), as we embark on a new year the State of the Day Care is strong, and our spirit is stronger. In 2011, we helped our families to meet the challenges of a difficult economy, and provided our children with the foundation skills they need for a life of learning, and we look forward to a 2012 that sees us grow, expand and enhance our activities.

This non-profit Day Care has seen times of growth and times of recession, but we have always held true to our promise to the community, that we will provide affordable, nurturing child care and enriching educational experiences for the children of working parents. The Shepherdstown Day Care is not a place where extended “babysitting” takes place we are an early education center where educational programs begin with babies, where staffers teach American Sign Language to toddlers, where children learn Chinese, and develop learning skills through the Creative Curriculum. In 2007, we were one of the first area day cares to partner with Jefferson County Schools to provide Pre-K programming, and this program has been so successful that we received the United Way’s first Outstanding Partner Award for our initiative to ensure that graduates from the program start school eager and ready to learn. Seven members of our 2007 Pre-K class have matriculated to third grade at Shepherdstown Elementary, and we are proud to note that four of these seven students were on the Honor Roll during the last quarter.

Over the past 39 years, the Day Care has grown and evolved, but one thing has remained constant: the support we receive from our community. Over the past year, when the economic news was often bleak, our community stood by us, inspiring us as our friends and neighbors touched the lives of our children through their generosity. In 2011, a generous gift from a community member enabled us to enhance our educational programming with the latest version of the Creative Curriculum, which included books, materials and a teacher workshop session. Shepherdstown Rotary provided computers for our classrooms, and a grant from AHA, which was matched by the West Virginia Council on the Arts, funded pottery and dance classes. Lowe’s and the Shepherdstown Kiwanis Club helped us to transform our cafeteria into “Keith’s Cafe” and re-decorated our school-age room. Outside, the Sundbacks continued to beautify our grounds through their generous landscaping gifts, a state grant helped us to finish paving our parking lot and the Pack Horse Ford Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution helped us display our patriotism with a new flagpole and flag. Our children are learning from our teachers, but they are also learning about generosity, compassion, and community from all those who have supported us over the past year.

When talk of the recession dominates the news, it’s not easy to mount successful fundraising efforts, but somehow the SDC did. The Run by the River 5K had its best year to date and Halloween revelers braved a spooky October snow storm to attend our second annual Halloween party at the Entler Hotel. In 2011, the Wine Auction moved to a new venue The Bavarian Inn and in that elegant atmosphere we enjoyed a tremendously fun and successful evening. While these events allow our friends to have fun while helping a great cause, they are only one component of our overall fundraising effort. The SDC also works with our state, county and local governments to seek funding, and as a United Way of the Eastern Panhandle partner agency we continue to receive support from the United Way and the Combined Federal Campaign. Local churches, businesses, service organizations, and our loyal individual donors are our strongest supporters.

These individual donors are one of the reasons our Annual Fund effort continues to be so successful; individual donors, as well as businesses and churches, are also key to the success of our Tuition Assistance Program, which enables donors to help us to offset the difference between operating revenue and expenses.

Why is there a difference between operating revenue and expenses? The answer lies at the heart of the Day Care’s mission: we offer quality, affordable child care to working families. We charge tuition for our 2-5 year-olds according to a sliding scale tied to family income level, enabling families that want to work or further their education the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Fully half of our children come from families living at or below the poverty level; almost 50 percent of our children receive tuition assistance from the State but this assistance falls far short of the actual cost of day care, and costs the SDC more than $60,000 each year. Your support is more than touching and more than appreciated and it brings with it a level of responsibility we are glad to accept and exceed. Together, we are creating a safe, caring and nourishing environment for our community’s children, and providing them with the foundation skills they need to meet the challenges of their future.

With your support, 2012 will be a new year of promise and potential for the Shepherdstown Day Care.

For more information about the Shepherdstown Day Care, please contact us at 876-6923 or visit our website at www.shepherdstowndaycare.org. If you’d like to make a donation to the SDC, you can mail your donation to The Shepherdstown Day Care, P.O. Box 388, Shepherdstown, WV 25443.