ECFC has successful semester

According to Independent School District 834 officials, the Early Childhood Family Center is off to a successful start.
Director of Community Education Lori Brink presented the mid-year report on the new center, which opened in September, to the School Board at Thursday night’s meeting.
“I’m so proud of the work we all did, but it’s really because of the excellent services and wonderful staff people that are helping us do this that it’s been such a successful first semester,” Brink said.
The new center has served 603 children and 262 adults each week for the last semester. In addition to providing services that include Early Childhood Family Education classes, and Early Childhood Special Education Classes for three to five- year-olds and birth to two-year-olds at home, screening and preschool classes, Brink says they’re really helping families.
Brink reported that Integration with Northeast Metro 916 and Courage St. Croix has received a lot of positive feedback. Northwest Metro 916 is seeing increased enrollment numbers and Courage is reporting that its supporters have given them a lot of great feedback on their involvement in the program. Brink says she’s also tracked student retention in the district since 2009 and about 86 percent of those that attend the early childhood programs remain in the district after participating in this program.
This year 172 children are in the preschool program and 53 percent of those children qualify for free and reduced lunches.
“This means that we’re achieving our goal of serving children without access to fee-based childhood education in our community,” Brink said.
Special events provide an environment where families can be physically active and enjoy time together doing something fun.