The third annual Healdsburg Preschool Fair hosted by Corazón Healdsburg took place on Saturday, February 22, at the Healdsburg Community Center. The fair is put on each year in an ongoing effort to provide greater access to high-quality early childhood education programs and childcare for Healdsburg families. Over 100 families gathered between the hours of 9:30-11:30 a.m. to find information in both Spanish and English about local preschools and daycares as well as financial resources and other services available to them. Children enjoyed bilingual storytime with children’s librarian, Charity Anderson, from Healdsburg Library.
“We saw a large number of families at this year’s event and they left with a lot of valuable information, books, and resources to promote early literacy and early education,” said Ariel Kelley, Corazón’s Chief Executive Officer. “It was great to see the room packed from start to finish.”
The Preschool Fair included eleven local preschool and daycare programs, along with seven other resource tables —including Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which provides a free book each month to every child in Healdsburg ages 0-5 and is sponsored by the Noon Rotary Club of Healdsburg. In addition to the Imagination Library, the City’s Parks and Recreation programs, PDI Dental Promotores, Community Action Partnership’s AVANCE and Pasitos programs, Census 2020, Healdsburg Elementary School and the 4C’s Quality Counts (which provides vouchers for low-/middle-income families for preschool), all had tables at the Fair.
The Healdsburg Preschool Fair is a product of the Early Childhood Education Committee, spearheaded by Corazón Healdsburg. It is a sub-committee of the local Health Action chapter, which is led by Corazón. Expanding access to early childhood education became a goal of the chapter after Healdsburg participated in the 2016 assessment of school readiness in Sonoma County, which showed Healdsburg’s students were disproportionately not prepared for entering kindergarten, as compared to their peers countywide.
Since 2016, Healdsburg has experienced a tremendous shift in local awareness about early childhood education being the root cause of long-term educational success or struggle.
“It’s inspiring to see so many local organizations and foundations making early education a funding priority by sponsoring the Healdsburg Preschool Fair,” said Kelley.
The event was presented by the EACH Foundation with supporting sponsorships from the American Association of University Women, Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County, Noon Rotary of Healdsburg, John Jordan Foundation, Healdsburg Unified School District, Alliance Medical Center, and Healdsburg Education Foundation.