SARASOTA, FL – Early learning difficulties have skyrocketed during the pandemic and families are paying the price. While the need for childcare is greater than ever, parents are finding it harder – and more expensive – to find quality learning opportunities for their young ones. One new partnership aims to relieve the issue.
As Hershorin Schiff Community Day School prepares for its move to a new, nearly nine-acre campus in central Sarasota for the 2021-2022 school year, it has recently partnered with Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation to lower barriers to enrollment and ensure more families are able to benefit from the school’s academic excellence and purposeful pluralism.
“Now, more than ever, Community Day School is committed to making our exceptional education available to Sarasota County families seeking a high quality, rigorous, fun and individualized project-based learning environment,” said head of school Dan Ceaser. “Through our variable tuition program and participation in state scholarship programs, we aim to remove many financial barriers and put tuition at a level that is attainable for each family; however, the global pandemic has increased financial needs and has reduced the available funding to support current or new families.”
Barancik Foundation has awarded $100,000 to bolster the school’s existing scholarship program for low-income families and another $50,000 to serve as a match to expand early learning efforts. The impact of this funding will be to relieve economic pressures on existing families and to provide additional opportunities for new families, lowering financial barriers to attend.
“Community Day School has enhanced its reputation for outstanding educational programming and remain focused on being a diverse and inclusive school,” said Teri A Hansen, President|CEO of Barancik Foundation. “These efforts ensure more students will have the benefit from an exceptional education, especially those who need it most.”
Most brain development occurs before age 5, which is why a child’s learning experiences during that window are so predictive of her success later on. For America’s low-income children, high-quality opportunities to prepare for kindergarten were already in short supply before the pandemic hit. This support was granted as the Barancik Foundation looks to expand its efforts to help children thrive at a point where brains are hardwired in ways that have lifelong consequences – from the first three years of a child’s life to five years.
The school has begun using some of the funding already, for families who needed urgent assistance due to the impacts of the pandemic, but it is anticipated that the majority of the funds will be used during the 2021-2022 school year. Community Day will begin operations on its new campus – and have the capacity to grow its enrollment from its current level of 275 students to at least 320 – in the coming school year. The funding will be particularly beneficial in assisting with VPK (voluntary prekindergarten) programming.
“In our current location, due to lack of space and ability to modify our physical plant, many of our early learning through our upper school classrooms have waitlists,” said Ceaser. “With the move to our new campus this summer and with this additional funding from Barancik Foundation to support current and prospective families, we will be able to serve a wider swath of the community and make our academic excellence more accessible for all families.”
To learn more and make a donation, visit CommunityDay.org or call 941-552-2770.
About Hershorin Schiff Community Day School
The mission of the Hershorin Schiff Community Day School, which serves students in preschool through eighth grade, is to impact the world by creating a community where children of all faiths demonstrate integrity, academic excellence, and a desire to improve the world. Community Day offers a rigorous, project-based academic program in a diverse and vibrant learning environment rooted in the Jewish values of honesty, integrity, mutual trust and respect. For more information, visit the website at communityday.org or call (941) 552-2770.