In 100 years of operating in Downtown, Phoenix Day preschool has been a consistent force for good in the lives of children, bringing a forward thinking approach to child care throughout its existence, and offering high quality education to families of every kind.
Launched in 1915 to provide childcare for mothers entering the workforce during World War I, Phoenix Day has managed to evolve with, and sometimes ahead of, Phoenix and its parent population. The center offers preschool, toddler, and infant care for working parents, and has done so while serving the needs of its immediate community.
“Currently we have 94% of our children beating or exceeding the standards associated with school readiness, by the time they’re ready to enter kindergarten. In comparison to … 16% of low income children statewide,” said Karyn Parker, Executive Director of Phoenix Day.
Nearly 30 years before Martin Luther King Jr. visited Arizona State University in 1964, Phoenix Day was enrolling and integrating children of all racial and ethnic backgrounds in 1938. The school shifted to a non-profit organization in 1960, and in the 70s was selected to test the curriculum material for an up and coming television show known as Sesame Street.
Former North Phoenix High School graduate and Sesame Street founder Joan Ganz Cooney chose Phoenix Day as the perfect outlet to see how multicultural children reacted to the curriculum Sesame Street planned to use. Not surprisingly, she found that children of all backgrounds were fans.
Located just south of the metro Phoenix area on 2nd and Tonto Streets, Phoenix Day saw less of the effects of downtown’s revitalization and more of the effects of the economic downturn. The area offers little access to local grocery stores or organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, and many families lost their childcare vouchers during the economic crisis.
Phoenix Day responded in 2011 by introducing new youth services for the local school-age population that includes after school and summer programs held at Central Park, with the help of local organizations and volunteers.
“As the needs of the families in this community have changed, we’ve changed our programs too,” Parker said, noting that the school offers high quality dual language early childhood education, a health links program that helps families enroll in AHCCCS, among other resources for families.
The school even goes as far as offering twice yearly dental exams, and vision and hearing screening to ensure there are no barriers to learning once a child enters kindergarten. All of these programs are aimed at ensuring children are ready to thrive in elementary school, a mission that has helped the school and neighborhood to grow together over the past 100 years.
Other than the ongoing goal of offering great programs year in and year out, Parker said she would like to duplicate the school’s success in areas that mimic its current Central Park neighborhood.
“Our long term strategic goal is to open another site, in another location. We have amazing outcomes for children, and we want to be able to duplicate that in other low income areas around the valley.”
Images courtesy of Phoenix Day.
David Krietor has served as CEO of the newly-formed Downtown Phoenix, Inc. (“DPI”) since April 8, 2013. In that time, he has begun work with community stakeholders to develop the downtown we want. “Your Downtown” shares his thoughts and DPI’s progress with the downtown community and beyond. Read the other chats here.
A week ago, Kimber Lanning, Downtown Phoenix Inc. board member and Local First Arizona executive director, shared with me some interesting observations from attendees of the national BALLE Conference on Localism held in Phoenix in June. Hundreds of Localist leaders from across the U.S. visited Downtown Phoenix to talk about the best practices for building strong local economies. Here are some of the comments received from conference-goers about their stay:
- “I didn’t know much about Phoenix before this conference. I feel like I got a privileged view of so many amazing people and initiatives working to address their challenges in creative and collaborative ways. I now love this city and would love to come back.”
- “I had no idea Phoenix had such a vibrant arts district!”
- “I am an Arizona resident but don’t live in the Phoenix area. I was very impressed with how many committed, thoughtful organizations and activists are doing great work in city… The city was far more walkable than I anticipated and the [welcome] guide was very helpful.”
- “Phoenix has so much life, energy, pulse that I didn’t know about.”
- “I’ve always thought of Phoenix as a pretty rough place. I was impressed not only by the downtown but, significantly, by the passion of the folks working on local issues.”
- “I live in the East Valley of Phoenix and never come downtown. After my time at the BALLE Conference I realized I have been missing a big part of my town. Downtown Phoenix is really coming into its own. I will return.”
- “[Phoenix] is much greener than I expected!”
With those kind and positive words, I could stop right now, but there’s a lot more news and information to share about downtown:
IN THE PINK
- ASU ends on-campus psychiatric-care program
- ASU provides hope for an iconic downtown building and its residents
- UA & St. Joe’s Cancer Center comes to Downtown Phoenix
- How the UA Dignity Health cancer center almost wasn’t
- Will South Phoenix Light Rail affect your health?
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
- How transit spurred downtown growth, and could shape the whole city
- Banner to Midtown Phoenix neighbors: 3 years of construction
- Chicanos Por La Causa Pickle House incubator wins $50K SBA grant
- Condo project to take shape near Park Central Mall
- Downtown Phoenix’s growing residential boom shown in new study
- Hotel Monroe construction causes closure of Central Avenue
- New “one-stop shop” for homeless vets opens in Phoenix
- Phoenix asks for new bids for 100-year-old “Psycho” building
- Westward Ho owners get fed-backed loan for upgrades
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
- Be Coffee opens on Roosevelt Row in Downtown Phoenix
- Breweries craft expansions after drafting state law to boost production
- Cibo is a tasty, charming gem in Downtown Phoenix
- Downtown Phoenix storefronts in detail
- 15 places to eat near ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus
- Phoenix food truck looks to spice up Food Network show
- Summer dining deals around downtown, metro Phoenix
- Ten Best Kids’ Menus in downtown, metro Phoenix
- The Bosque plant boutique opens on Roosevelt Row
- Two restaurants to open in shared space in Downtown Phoenix
- WebPT ranks on Inc. 5000 list of nation’s fastest growing companies
- Burton Barr Central Library looking for artists to feature in 2016 gallery
- Emerging designers present at downtown preview of Phoenix Fashion Week
- First Fridays August music guide for Downtown Phoenix
- Mural in Downtown Phoenix highlights plight of migrants
- Nic Wiesinger founds Rhetorical Galleries in Downtown Phoenix
- Theater in Downtown Phoenix keeps its ear to the ground
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
- A prudent college path
- ASU boasts diverse achievers in freshman class
- ASU student move-in is a welcome sight for Downtown Phoenix
- Phoenix banks on Peter Pan theory of Millennials
- Young African leaders complete civic leadership training at ASU
- Coyotes’ biggest question: Is there a future in Glendale?
- Phoenix 10K and Half Marathon celebrates 40 years
- The one guy who can keep four pro sports in the Valley
SAVE THE DATE (UPCOMING EVENTS)
- AIA Placemaking Series Panel Discussion on “Work,” Aug. 20
- Space Between Grand Opening, Aug. 21
- Get Your PHX Vote On with Vice Mayor Daniel Valenzuela, Aug. 22
- Roosevelt Row Artist Meet & Greet, Aug. 25
- Artist Grants Information Session & Grantwriting Workshop, Aug. 26
- Marine Week Events, Sept. 10-13
- Urban Ale Trail, Sept. 12
- Phoenix Public Market launch of Downtown Sundown, Sept. 24
Congratulations to Lindsay Kinkade who provided DPI staff with excellent strategic communication and design support in creating our new #dtphx brand. Lindsay was just appointed Design Director of ASU’s Enterprise Marketing Hub. Her job will be to lead design in the Hub to collaborate across campus in building tools to tell the story of ASU far and wide. She will also continue to teach in The Design School and advocate for all good things downtown.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
The first keg of Western Rivers Ale will be tapped on August 1 at the “Tapping into Conservation” Launch Party at the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center in Phoenix, from 6:30 -9:30 p.m. The launch party, unlike anything else in the Valley this summer, will feature live music from local band World Class Thugs. Admission is free, and beer will be sold for $3 each; ages 21+. Western Rivers Ale will debut among Four Peaks Brewing Company’s already popular line of craft beers. This beer, however, is on a mission: to raise awareness of the plight of the Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, just designated as “threatened” in October 2014.
“Conservation is something everyone should be concerned about,” said Steven Prager, a Teacher-Naturalist at Audubon Arizona and the leader of this initiative. “Connecting a beer with bird conservation is a way to promote awareness of the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo to a wider audience.”
The Yellow-Billed Cuckoo’s population has declined due to reduced natural river habitat. A combination of drought, invasive species, over-allocation, and unsustainable management threaten the Colorado River and its tributaries as well as the wildlife and communities that depend on them. Western Rivers Ale also aims to draw new members to the Western Rivers Action Network, Audubon’s grassroots network of 35,000 citizens across three states who take action to preserve rivers in the western U.S.
After the launch party, Western Rivers Ale can be purchased at both Four Peaks Brewing Company locations in Tempe and Scottsdale until August 31 – or until supplies run out. There will be a second brew this winter featuring the Sandhill Crane. The initiative also includes Toyota Together Green and the Phoenix Center for the Arts.
Audubon Arizona is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization with the mission of connecting people with nature, using science, education, and advocacy to protect Arizona’s birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and earth’s biodiversity.
Four Peaks Brewing Company seeks to provide consistent high-quality beer, food and service in a community-based atmosphere. The company has won many awards, including Thrillist’s “Best Brewery in America” (2015), the Travel Channel’s “Favorite Craft Brewery” (2014), and five Great American Beer Festival medals.
Images courtesy of Audubon Arizona
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
AZ’s 100% nonprofit music festival returns to Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix for a 13th annual celebration on March 11-13, 2016; the 2015 Festival raised more than $120,000 for charity.
Listen up music fans, the 13th annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival (MMMF) will take the stage on March 11-13, 2016 for three full days of music, food, art, culture and more in the Arizona sun. Can’t wait to get your groove on? Presale ticket packages for MMMF 2016 will be available for purchase at a discounted rate starting on August 1, 2015. Plus, the first 150 presale purchasers will receive a special limited edition ticket package directly from the festival organizers, with all details about the package deemed “top secret.”
Boasting a soon-to-be-announced lineup of both top national and local bands (with previous headliners ranging from Widespread Panic to The Roots), the McDowell Mountain Music Festival annually lures thousands of music fans nationwide to the grass-lined fields of Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix.
Even better, the MMMF is Arizona’s premier charity-based music festival, with 100-percent of all profits donated to worthy local charities. In fact, with help from contributors, donors, sponsors and, most important, loyal fans, MMMF 2015 donated $120,000 to benefiting charities, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and UMOM New Day Centers, the largest shelter for homeless families in the state.
Previously hosted in late March, the 2016 McDowell Mountain Music Festival was moved up to take advantage of Arizona’s mild spring weather and hopefully ensure the perfect mix of sunny days and cool nights, said MMMF founder and organizer, John Largay. “Spring is an outstanding time in the Valley. We want festival-goers to enjoy the sun and music all the same, and early March is certainly the month for both.”
Additional details will be released in the weeks and months to come, including enhanced experiences for 2016, ticketing options, lineups, partnerships, and more. For the latest information, visit www.mmmf.com, or Facebook (www.facebook.com/mcdowellmountainmusicfestival), Instagram (@mmmf2016), or Twitter (@mcdowlmtnmusic). #MMMF2016
Photos: Jacob Tyler Dunn
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