There are many mixed feelings when reflecting on 2016. However, here at the U School, 2016 has been over-the-top amazing! I’d like to share a little bit of what has been so great for us.
The best part of 2016 has been YOU! Our community is loving and committed to our success. The U School’s board of directors, staff, families, children, partners, and donors have demonstrated the heart of Ubuntu while making individual and collective moves to establish the U School as a unique, high quality early childhood learning experience.
In June, we completed our first year of school. Three students graduated from our one-class school and went on to kindergarten. Over the summer we expanded, big time! We added another classroom, a gym, as well as a light and sound studio. We hired new staff (our teachers are off-the-hook amazing!) and welcomed many new families (they are just as amazing!). To date, we are serving 42 children! Happy, healthy, and inspired learning is thriving here.
We have also created additional exposure for our U Family Mindful Parents program. This program is rolling strong and is ready to accept Winter/Spring 2017 registration for the Intro Course, Extension Retreats, Drop-ins (NEW!), and Remote Participation (NEW!). New for the Mindful Parents Winter/Spring courses are drop-in opportunities and opportunities for participants to take part in this course no matter where they are in the world. We are piloting a live video feed for remote participants. Other U Family news -- January U Family Yoga drop-in dates are coming soon.
Recently we hosted our annual Fall Outdoor & Handyfolk Work Day. This event drew, as usual, awesome volunteer assistance, and we were able to collectively improve our indoor and outdoor learning environments. One HUGE addition is the new rock climbing wall in our gym. Thank you to Peter, Luke, Aaron, Page, and the Yocum family for helping us fulfill the dream of having a rock climbing wall in our school. It has received ample and continued use since.
The U School continues to offer tuition assistance to families and continues to expand our reach to those in need of preschool/childcare without being able to afford it. But it is not nearly enough, we want to be able to offer so much more. All donations received right now go towards our tuition assistance pool.
Please consider an end-of-year contribution. If you would like to learn more, please reach out to me. I’d love to talk with you about how you can help. One thing to consider: ask your employer if they can deduct contribution funds from your paycheck. This makes donating super easy. The U School puts the funds directly into our tuition assistance pool. We have one individual in our community who has been doing this since we opened. To date, this individual, with just $25 out of each paycheck, has contributed greatly to two of our families. Thank you, Jamie!
When you donate to the U School, you invest in our collective future; you create what we call "U Impact.” This impact directly benefits the children and families of the U School, the local economy, and the future of Washtenaw County. Jackson and I (U School co-founders) believe so strongly in this kind of investment that the very first U School video made was titled “Investing in Early Childhood Development.”
I look forward to another year of working with our U School global community as we further enhance the early childhood community in our corner of the world.
Thank you so much to you all!
Peace and love,