Sponsored by the GCH Endowment to Promote Quality Early Childhood Education
The goal of the DC PLAY BLOCKS campaign is to raise public awareness about the need for high quality care and educational programs in the District of Columbia. The overall message is that “QUALITY PRESCHOOL MATTERS.”
National studies show the benefits of early childhood care and education include:
Increased maternal employment and earnings
Increased skills and knowledge
Increased high school graduation and college attendance
Increased skilled employment and earnings
Inspired by the DC Party Animals and Pandamania public art projects sponsored by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities a few years back, the Endowment’s yearlong campaign will bring attention to the needs of the 33,000 zero-to-five-year-old children and their families that live in the city and in the shadow of the Capitol. In the fall of 2006, a commemorative PLAY BLOCK designed by the nationally known, Washington-based artist, Di Bagley Stovall, will be placed in front of the John A. Wilson Building, the district government building, and will remain at that location through the fall of 2007. Her PLAY BLOCK illustrates that together we can empower ALL children to reach the sun, the moon, and the stars.
DC PLAY BLOCK paperweights and posters with the Stovall design will be distributed to key government and business leaders throughout 2007, emphasizing that “Quality Preschool Matters.” As of the summer of 2007, a maximum of 30 PLAY BLOCKS will be strategically located throughout all wards of the District, including east of the Anacostia River, where many of our most disenfranchised families live and work. The Endowment will work with child development centers, Head Start programs, council members, and other government officials and community leaders to host BLOCK PARTIES to celebrate both the placement of the BLOCKS and the young children of the District.
These fun and colorful 42” square cubes will be designed by the District’s pool of gifted visual artists, and artists working with young children at District public school and child development centers. Several of the BLOCKS will be placed at these sites. The one-year campaign will emphasize the need for Universal School Readiness. It will actively engage the public and elected officials in a dialogue about the importance of quality early care and education and the vital cornerstone early care and education programs provides to help ensure thriving neighborhoods. Early childhood makes “cents” educationally and economically. The DC BLOCKS are designed to bring positive attention to the District and help show that we are helping to build a brighter future. Washington, DC is more than just “party animals.”
The GCH Endowment : Mission
The GCH Endowment works solely to promote quality early childhood education and care in the District of Columbia. It is a cornerstone in the foundation to encourage constructive communication and more importantly action in ensuring that the young children living in the shadow of the capital reach their fullest potential.
The Endowment works to spearhead and demonstrate the financial benefits of providing quality early childhood education, and to help maximize funding streams for child care and education through both local and national appropriations. It encourages public/private partnerships to bring attention to the issue of quality early education and care.
We wish to thank the following for sponsoring the DC PLAY BLOCKS project:
Bright Horizons Foundation for Children,
DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities with the DC Early Care and Education Administration,
DC Leadership in Action Fund of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region,
E*TRADE Financial Corporation Donor Advised Fund of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region,
Fannie Mae Foundation Fund of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region,
Federal City Council,
International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers,
M. Russell and Associates,
Procter & Gamble,
Teaching Strategies, Inc. and
W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
James G. Davis Construction Corporation and Miller & Long Concrete Construction are generously providing in-kind support.
GCH Endowment to Promote Quality Early Childhood Education
1400 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036