Denver Preschool Program

Media Room

News Bites - Fall, 2015

Denver Preschool Program - News Bites

Funding Quality Preschool – Then & Now

The Denver Preschool Program is proud to share its 2014 accomplishments with you through our 2014 Report to the Community, The report highlights the growth and transitions DPP has made from its inception in 2006 to its renewal in 2014. 

We saw the culmination of the initial phase of the organization, from 2006 through 2014, during which the foundation for supporting a young child’s educational journey through Denver’s dedicated preschool sales tax was laid. What started as a vision to see every Denver 4-year-old attending a quality preschool evolved into a sustainable national model for others to emulate. Thanks to the community’s support and recognition of the value of preschool, the Denver Preschool Program’s dedicated sales tax was renewed through 2026 by voters in the November 2014 election. This demonstration of confidence enables us to look toward our future, and that of Denver’s children, with great promise.

As we look ahead, we’ll be evolving our efforts from program start-up to ongoing improvements in the classroom experience. We’re excited about what’s possible, and see a bright future for the Denver Preschool Program’s next 12 years.

2014 Denver Preschool Program Annual Report

Denver Preschool Program – Preschool Forum

This coming January the Denver Preschool Program is introducing a Forum where our preschool program directors and teachers can gather together for a deeper professional development experience than at a typical one-time training. Each school year, DPP will offer a multi-part lecture series that will explore a single theme through multiple perspectives.

The theme for 2016 is Creating Early Learning Environments for All Children and will be led by two leaders in the early learning field as speakers for our first Forum, Rosemarie Allen and Luis Hernandez.

The theme for 2016 is Creating Early Learning Environments for All Children and will be led by two leaders in the early learning field as speakers for our first Forum, Rosemarie Allen and Luis Hernandez.

Rosemarie Allen, a nationally known expert in the field of equity in disciplinary practices will be leading the first two trainings in the Denver Preschool Forum and will focus on activities that assist teachers in identifying hidden and unconscious biases, interactive strategies that help reduce biases, and reflection techniques that are critical for self-assessment, development, and growth. These exercises will be engaging, meaningful, and readily applied to classroom settings. The series will close with a lecture by the dynamic speaker, Luis Hernandez, whose expertise includes early literacy, dual language learning, adult learning practices, changing demographics and diversity.

Facing the Disparities in Discipline in Early Childhood Settings

By Rosemarie Allen

In March 2014, the United States Department of Education released a report that showed nearly 5,000 preschoolers were suspended at least once and of those, nearly 2,500 were suspended a second time. This news came as a shock to most people. Questions such as, “How can you suspend a 3-year-old?” “What can a preschooler possibly do to get suspended?” were being asked across the nation. Many were further surprised when the data revealed disparities between those who were suspended and those, while committing the same offences, were allowed to remain in school. The report showed that boys were suspended much more often than girls and children of color were up to three times more likely to be suspended, even though they made up a much smaller percent of the preschool population. It is important to examine the reasons so many young children are being suspended and the factors that are causing such disparities.

It is my belief that teachers enter the field because they have a deep and abiding affection for young children and a desire to enhance their growth and development. However, when children are engaged in persistent behaviors that preschool teachers find difficult to manage, they are often removed from the classroom. Early childhood teachers often experience powerlessness when working with young children they describe as defiant or oppositional. When children perceive the teacher is emotionally upset, they are less likely to cooperate and comply with the teacher’s requests. Noncompliance of preschool children has been noted as one of the most common reasons for suspensions and expulsions from preschool.

Studies show that one of the prime factors that lead to disparities in discipline is implicit bias. Implicit bias is defined as unconscious beliefs and stereotypes that are triggered unknowingly and without intention. These biases impact interactions, behaviors, and feelings towards children in ways that are sometimes unconscious and unknown to teachers. There is evidence that disparities in discipline are impacted by teachers’ responses to perceived behaviors that are based on stereotypes and implicit bias. Teachers who unknowingly view boys and children of color as dangerous and difficult to control are more likely to use punitive disciplinary measures such as suspensions and expulsions.

Training on implicit bias that includes awareness, identification, and reduction strategies has been proven effective in decreasing suspensions and disparities in disciplinary practices. DPP is committed to Ensuring every teacher is provided the tools needed to ensure the success of all children and has developed a training series related to this critical to addressing this pressing issue. The first two trainings in the series are focused on activities that assist teachers in identifying hidden and unconscious biases, interactive strategies that help reduce biases, and reflection techniques that are critical for self-assessment, development, and growth.

The DPP Preschool Showcase returns on Saturday, January 9, 2016! This year's event will take place at TWO locations in the city:

Green Valley Ranch Recreation Center - 4890 Argonne Way, Denver

The Studios at Overland Crossing - 2205 S. Delaware St, Denver

Presented by the Denver Preschool Program, the DPP Preschool Showcase is an annual event that provides families of preschoolers a fun and convenient way to explore the more than 250 preschool options available to them through the Denver Preschool Program. This is a great way for the Denver Preschool Program schools to talk with families one-on-one. It's fun, free and offers families preschool information, kid-friendly activities, and lots of early childhood resources at two unique locations in the city. Click here to download the Showcase flyer, or here to visit our website to learn more.

DPP Joins CDOT and Denver Health in Car Seat Safety Partnership

In response to the overwhelming need for child car seats—particularly by Denver’s low-income, inner-city families—the Colorado Department of Transportation and Denver Health have been conducting car seat fitting stations at two neighborhood health clinics since 2012. The Denver Preschool Program recently joined this strategic partnership, providing families receiving new car seats with books and soccer balls for kids, along with DPP enrollment information for parents, all packaged in a reusable DPP lunch box.

“Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death in children ages 4 and older and still cause serious injury among children of all ages,” states Richard Castro, Denver Health Clinic Administrator. “There’s no doubt that this program saves lives. We’re very pleased to have the Denver Preschool Program on board with us”.

Parents can schedule a car seat inspection of their current car seats through Denver Health’s Eastside and Montbello clinics. The Lowry clinic will begin serving families within the next few months.

Certified technicians conduct seat inspections monthly, replacing dated or damaged seats with new ones. The technicians also provide proper sizing and installation of the new seats as well as safety information for parents.
“It’s an honor for us to support this team of community partners in providing an incredible service to our families in need. And, it’s such a perfect opportunity for us to reach families about the importance of preschool as well as let them know about the tuition support available through DPP,” adds Jennifer Landrum, DPP’s President and CEO.

Did you play well with others in preschool?

If you haven’t walked into a preschool classroom lately, you may not realize that it looks a lot like the modern work world, according to David Deming, associate professor of education and economics at Harvard University. In The Upshot section of the New York Times, Deming shares information from his study on “The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market.” Social skills learned at preschool, such as sharing and caring, translate later in life into cooperation and negotiation—skills that are crucial in attaining the occupations showing consistent wage growth over the last two decades. Bottom line – playing well with others in preschool can result in future success at work! Click here for the full story.

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