Hope Center inspires U.S. Department of Education's Libby Doggett
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Libby Doggett, left, visits with CDE's Nancie Linville, middle, and Sharon Trilolo-Moloney at the Hope Center in Denver.
Libby Doggett, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning, made a special trip recently to visit the Hope Center in northeast Denver.
For 54 years the Hope Center has provided children with a strong, early start to education. Founded in 1962, the center opened with an enrollment of six students. Now, the Hope Center sees more than 200 children per day supported by 30 staff members. Hope Center provides early learning services to children and families as part of the Colorado Preschool Program and the Denver Preschool Program.
This remarkable longevity and success is why Doggett toured the center.
Visiting Colorado for an update from the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Human Services on Colorado’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Fund efforts, Doggett learned the Hope Center not only focuses on providing quality early childhood education but it encourages teachers to pursue bachelor’s degrees in early childhood and maintains a low staff turnover rate. Through intentional program leadership, Hope Center average staff tenure is 14 years. Currently, the early childhood education profession has a more typical 20 - 30 percent turnover rate.
“I am totally blown away by all [Colorado has] accomplished,” Doggett said. “You have been strategic and smart—and not afraid to take on the hard issues every state is facing.”
The center has also worked with the state on developing the Colorado Shines Quality Rating Information System, which rates early childhood education and care programs throughout the state. The Hope Center is rated a Level 4 program, which is the second highest rating possible.