Nestled Just Inside Gate 20 on Fort Carson Army Post

The excitement on a child’s face when they are told they are going to preschool is truly priceless. CPCD…giving children a head start, is a free preschool program creating excitement about school for young children. Our programs help foster and develop a love for learning early on, that prepares children for success in school. One parent will tell you she had her son in Head Start in Hawaii while her family was stationed there. When they were reassigned to live in Colorado, she searched online for Colorado Springs Head Start programs and CPCD popped up. To her surprise, CPCD enrolled prenatal women and children age birth to three in its Early Head Start program. The day she visited the enrollment office to apply for her son to be in the CPCD Head Start program catered to three to five year olds, she also applied to enroll her daughter in the Early Head Start program. Both children were enrolled into CPCD not long afterwards and settled into a routine that helped them adjust to the move. The mother will tell you her daughter flourished in the program and both children are developing strong social and emotional management skills. CPCD also helped this mother with the transition to Colorado. She’ll tell you the program educators and parents in the classroom helped to make their move and transition to Colorado a pleasant experience.

cpcdThis is just one example of CPCD helping a family in the Colorado Springs community. CPCD is able to support and help many other military families and offers classrooms on Fort Carson in a center near Gate 20. The center is a first of its kind in the State of Colorado and only the second nation-wide Head Start program on an Army post.  CPCD is at times described as a best kept secret because Fort Carson is a large post.  When families learn about CPCD, they are surprised about the services and wish they knew about CPCD sooner.

What sets CPCD apart from other preschool programs are the comprehensive services provided to the child and the support for the entire family. Our services include Health and Nutrition, where we provide dental screening in the classroom and incorporate healthy eating habits for children and their families. We offer transportation to those that qualify, behavioral health services, services to support children with special needs and family services. Every family in our program is paired with a family advocate who visits their families in their home to bring the knowledge of what the child is learning in the classroom to the home and also support the family with any goals they have. Parents and guardians are supported by many different workshops available to learn about topics like children that are picky eaters, financial literacy classes, cooking classes and classes discussing love and logic in relationships, just to name a few.

The family workshops offer a space for all parents to get to know each other, mingle and make parent friends. This is especially important for military parents or guardians while a spouse is deployed and the workshops provide extra support and help.

The support CPCD provides transcends the classroom. CPCD connects families with local resources and organizations to help meet any needs families may have. We also engage community support that brings community members into our world to volunteer and make a difference for our families. Volunteers helped to build the Fort Carson Learning Garden. The Learning Garden is a chance for children on post to learn and get their little hands dirty with planting and digging. It’s also an opportunity to learn about vegetables! The produce that is grown in the garden is available for families to take home and make healthy meals with. Volunteers helped make this happen and the support of the community is something we are always gracious for.

To learn more about CPCD…giving children a head start, please contact Tiyana Hardney Vela, Outreach Manager at Tiyana@cpcd.org or 719-884-1474. There are also opportunities to join CPCD’s Get on The Bus Tours, where you take a one-hour ride on a school bus that takes you through the neighborhoods of our children and families. Contact Zuleika Munoz, Development Officer at zmunoz@cpcd.org or 719-884-1409, if you are interested.

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