Educational First Steps 25th anniversary is set to feature Academy Award-winning actress and children’s book author Octavia Spencer. Octavia Spencer was the sixth of seven children raised by a single mother in Montgomery, Alabama. Despite struggling with dyslexia, she became an avid reader as a child thanks to the encouragement of a dedicated teacher. A respected character actress, Spencer earned an Academy Award in 2012 for her breakthrough role as Minny in “The Help.” She is also the author of two children’s books that center on the character Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective.
A North Texas-based nonprofit organization, Educational First Steps places at-risk children on a path to lifelong success by transforming caregivers into professional teachers and daycare centers into high-quality preschools in the region’s most at-risk neighborhoods. “Since 1990, Educational First Steps has improved academic outcomes for thousands of children in North Texas. Yet, with childhood poverty in our region expected to double in the next 25 years, the need continues to grow. To meet the challenges of educating young children in poverty, we are expanding our efforts, focusing on high-need neighborhoods and aggressively scaling high-quality, accredited early learning programs to reach more classrooms and more children,” said John Breitfeller, executive director of Educational First Steps. Educational First Steps shows caregivers of at-risk children how to create high-quality learning environments. It currently serves 4,700 children in early learning centers in 17 school districts across North Texas. More than half of those children are in centers that have achieved national accreditation with the support of Educational First Steps. The organization is expanding its education and support solutions to help more centers earn accreditation and become long-term educational anchors in high-poverty neighborhoods for generations to come. As a result, more at-risk children will have access to high-quality early learning experiences to prepare them for school life and success. “We have the opportunity to prevent learning gaps for thousands of children living in poverty in North Texas. The earlier we start, the better chances these children have,” said Linus Wright, co-founder of Educational First Steps and former superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District. “Now is the time for our community to step up in support of its future – our children. It’s a smart investment for all of us.”
Where: Omni Dallas Hotel
555 South Lamar St.
Dallas, TX 75202
When: Friday, Oct. 23 12 pm
Sponsorships available. For information, contact Judy Schecter at (214) 824-7940, ext. 229, or firstname.lastname@example.org.