Launching on Earth Day 2013, the new Stewards Scholarship Fund will help bridge the early learning access gap in our greater Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula community by opening the door to quality early childhood education to all area children. Your tax-deductible gift will help provide tuition assistance to area families in need.

Across the nation, early learning programs have been championed by business, community and education advocates as a way to close the achievement gap; helping to level the lifetime playing field – especially for those children at greatest risk. At-risk children who don’t receive a high-quality early childhood education are:

  • 25% more likely to drop out of school
  • 40% more likely to become a teen parent
  • 50% more likely to be placed in special education
  • 60% more likely to never attend college
  • 70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime

The quality of life for a child and the contributions that a child eventually makes to society as an adult can be traced back to the first few years of life. Research extending back more than 50 years shows that providing a high quality education for children before they turn five yields significant long-term benefits. An assessment conducted by economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis on the well-known HighScope Perry Preschool study1 that followed participant students, over four decades (beginning in 1962), found that for every $1 invested in quality preschool programs, society receives $16 in benefits.

Translated into an internal rate of return (IRR) measure to more easily compare the return to investments, Federal Reserve Bank officials’ pegged return on investment at 12%, after inflation.

What’s the ‘bottom –line’? Investment in human capital improves economic success not only for the children being educated, but also for society.

Layer this atop of an environment-based early childhood education and we can help children to become problem solvers and to develop key critical thinking skills that support their success in math, science, language, social studies, and the arts.

The Stewards Scholarship Fund will allow more children from our greater peninsulas to have this powerful foundation. Interested in helping to shape the future generation of community and environmental stewards?

The future of our children is the most important investment our community can make.

Please join us in supporting the Stewards Scholarship Fund today.