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Spotlight: Bright Futures for Early Childhood and Families

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[caption id="attachment_3986" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="The children will soon be returning from a safari to a bright classroom!"][/caption]

Bright Futures for Early Childhood and Families is paving the way for early childhood education in Telluride, Colorado. With the help of El Pomar grant funding in 2001, they were able to open a new early education and childcare facility. This facility, one of ten preschools in San Miguel County and one of five in Telluride, was constructed with the help of El Pomar grant funding in 2011. The preschool gives students the opportunity to engage with their surroundings and realize their full academic potential. During a recent visit to the site by two El Pomar Fellows, the children were off on an all-day safari, exploring Telluride’s natural landscape.

Bright Futures provides a host of early childhood development and childcare resources to families throughout San Miguel and Ouray Counties, including their Parents as Teachers (PAT) program. This program seeks to provide parents with the necessary resources and support to empower children-from birth to age five- to realize their full potential. Through the completion of a series of home-visits from parent educators, parents learn how to incorporate fun, educational activities into everyday tasks. With the help of grant funding from El Pomar in 2012, Bright Futures was able to hire two new educators to assist with home visits- including a bilingual teacher with an ESL degree. Most importantly, the PAT program is free for those who qualify, so opportunities for success are available to families with varying income-levels.

Perhaps the most striking characteristic of Bright Futures for Early Childhood and Families is their ability to effectively collaborate with other providers of early childhood development resources in the San Miguel Region. From coordinating with regional elementary school administrators to track the development of PAT kindergarten students to partnering with the San Miguel Resource Center to obtain referrals, Bright Futures for Early Childhood and Families is constantly seeking to establish new community partnerships.

Bright Futures is committed to supporting and empowering parents, collaborating with other educational organizations, and incorporating fun into their training programs. These qualities allow them to continue providing excellent educational opportunities to children.