The preschool program at Fortress YDC - Fortress Early Learning Center - provides early literacy training and school readiness for children ages 18 months through four years. Its purpose is to provide excellent academic and social resources that will help these children enter school prepared and ready to learn.
Created in 2008 as a "Mother's Day Out"-type of program for the families in the Fortress neighborhood, it soon became obvious that the children enrolled needed more than just playtime and a nurturing environment. They needed to learn things that most children learn at home: the alphabet, numbers, colors and shapes, how to stand in line and how to raise your hand. They needed school-readiness training. The preschool became intentional about providing that training.
When our first class of preschoolers graduated, the success of our preschool program became glaringly apparent. Compared to other children who enrolled in our after-school program who hadn't participated in preschool programs, our preschool graduates were far and away more prepared to succeed as Kindergarteners. Each year, we continue to see that students who started school with that important foundational structure perform at higher levels than do their peers who didn't.
In January 2013, Castleberry ISD offered to "sell" us two portable classrooms. The buildings themselves (valued at over $30,000 apiece) would only cost us $1,600, with an additional expense of $25,000 to have them moved, installed and permitted. Thanks to a gift from TCU's Nature of Giving Student Organization, the buildings were moved to our property in the fall of 2013. We embarked on a three year journey to secure the funding to get these buildings ready to open a new preschool, tripling our capacity and allowing us to go full-time.
In September 2016, Fortress opened a four day a week preschool for 45 students. This has already provee to be an enormous asset to our community: we already have a waiting list of young learners hoping to get into our preschool.
Your support is needed as we continue to grow and add more students. $1,000 scholarships a child to attend ONE YEAR of preschool. You can help by donating, supplying in-kind donations, and volunteering.
Thank you to our many supporters who made this new preschool possible!
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