A Program of the West Santa Rosa Local Action Council,
October 16, 2000
The Rotary Club of Santa Rosa West
P.O. Box 6792
Santa Rosa, CA 95406
Dear Fellow Rotarians:
As Executive Director of the Multi-Cultural Center I want to express
the preschool's gratitude to Rotary for the club's continued support of our
preschool program. It has been three years since your fundraising efforts
provided us with our wonderful new facility, which we have very much
enjoyed. During that time:
- We have provided over 200 children with a quality preschool
experience. We were successful in increasing our funding to serve more
children. This year we have increased our enrollment from 64 to 80
children enrolled. We still have a waiting list of over 30
- We have increased our staff from 10 to 14 part and lull time
employees. One of our new staff is a teacher-in-training from the
TRECC program (welfare reform training program) in collaboration with
SIUC. The TRECC program subsidizes this additional staff member 50%.
One of our parents has successfully completed her training through the
TRECC program and is now a regular member of our teaching staff.
- Four of our teachers are participating in the Governors
California Reading and Literacy Project and have received 40 hours
intensive training in early reading instruction. The teachers will
also attend 5 Saturday training sessions and will assess the results
of the new program by testing and tracking the progress of their
students over the academic year (2000-2001). I am proud to note that
these teachers have chosen to participate in this program even though
they receive no compensation for their extra time and effort in doing
so beyond a small stipend in recognition of their dedication and
commitment. Ours is the only preschool in Sonorna County to
participate in this project.
- In collaboration with volunteers from Knox Presbyterian Church, we
have provided free English Improvement classes for parents and family
of Multi-Cultural preschool children for the past three years.
Children have a greater success in school when the parents are also
literate. Rotarian Carl Anderson is the energy and leadership behind
this effort. Free childcare is provided for families who attend the
- We are continuing our collaboration with the Vocational Nursing
Program at SRJC. Nurses are observing child development in our program
as part of their OB/Pediatric training rotations. This semester 20
nursing students will participate in this program at Multi-Cultural.
- We also continue to mentor teachers in training from SSU. This
semester we have two student teachers working and studying in our
program. It is a rich experience for them in teaching diverse groups
of children, as our children this year represent 10 different
linguistic groups. English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Tigrinia,
Vietnamese, Lao, Malay, Chinese, and Creole.)
- We have been working on improving our outdoor learning environment.
We have expanded our gardening curriculum, adding new planting areas.
We have replaced old equipment (non-compliant with new playground
safety regulations) with new, safer and more challenging equipment.
This Rotary Club assisted with grants to replace our tire swing and
add shade to the playground. Rotarian Bill Dodson provided technical
advice and assistance with the shade structure.
- With donations from the community we have upgraded the technology of
the center with office computers and have added computer learning to
our curriculum for children. A community volunteer comes in several
times a week and introduces cornputer learning to the children.
- We continue to serve two full meals to each child per day. We have
managed this despite increases in food costs because we are able to
shop at the Food Bank, another program that has received the support
All of us at the Multi-Cultural Center are proud of the progress we
have made in the last three years. Much of tbese improvements would not be
possible without our fine, new facility that allows us greater
opportunities for successful endeavors. We thank the Rotary Club for its
generous support and assistance on behalf of children.
The Building Project
The Multi-cultural Preschool has been operated since 1972 by the West Santa Rosa Local
Action Council, a tax-exempt non-profit corporation founded by a group of parents. With
financial assistance from the State Department of Education, the School has provided basic
education and developmental activities in the skills for daily living to 62 poverty level
children each year for the past 25 years. These children are in the 3 - 5 year age group.
About 40% are from Caucasian families. The remainder are from a wide assortment of
different racial and cultural backgrounds. English is the language of the school. Nearly
all the children speak the language fluently at the end of two years. Parental involvement
For 20 years, the School was housed in the Knox Presbyterian Church. This became an
increasingly crowded and unsatisfactory arrangement. In 1993, The The Rotary Club of Santa Rosa West
was asked to help raise the funds to build a building for the School on a site
provided by Knox Church for that purpose. This project was undertaken.
The initial budget was $459,000. The project was completed at a final cost of $501,000
and the building dedicated on June 2, 1997. The ceremony was attended by 200 people,
including the Mayor of Santa Rosa and many other dignitaries. The event was combined with
a regular meeting of the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa West.
This was perhaps one of the largest projects of its kind undertaken by a
single club in District 5130. Recognition has come from many sources, including the award
for best Community Service for the Club and District Rotarian of the Year for the Project
Director. The hard work and continuing support of The The Rotary Club of Santa Rosa West
and many volunteers from the community made this project possible.
by Carl E. Anderson, M.D.
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