Dear Launch Community,
Friday is the last day of the 2020-21 school year, ending the strangest and most challenging school year of our lives. I want to take a moment to acknowledge the incredible work that our children, families, and staff have done under difficult circumstances and thank you for your support of our kids and families.
I’ve been incredibly proud of the way that Launch has stepped up to serve our community during this past year. It hasn’t always been easy to be a teacher this year, but our staff have navigated the pandemic with grace, compassion, creativity, flexibility, and above all, a fierce commitment to doing whatever it takes to support the children in our care.
We’ve known all along that the work our childcare teachers and support staff do is vital not just for the well-being of children and families but also for the well-being of our entire community. Launch staff are amazing educators and advocates, and because of each of their work and the support of the broader Launch community of donors and supporters, children were able to get much-needed social-emotional and academic learning while schools were closed. Their families were able to go to work and earn a living because they had the peace of mind of knowing that their children were in a safe, nurturing environment with supportive teachers.
I’m proud to share that, for the fiscal year ending June 30th, we were able to serve 436 children ages 3-12. During a time when many childcare providers were closed because of the pandemic, Launch was able to be a critical part of our community’s safety net and prioritize serving students furthest from educational justice.
- 62% of our students were children of color
- 61% were the children of essential workers
- 57% were low-/moderate-income
- 22% primarily spoke a non-English language at home; 25 languages were spoken by Launch families
- 9% had an IEP or 504 plan
- 6% were experiencing homelessness or living in unstable housing
As our Director of Operations Laura Nicholson has said before, for many of our students, their earliest memories may very well be of masks, social distancing and isolation, remote learning, stress, anxiety, and the disruption to their daily routines. But because of our community of supporters, their earliest memories will also include lots of laughter, fun, learning, exploration, and caring adults. Thank you for making this possible!
As we begin to emerge from the pandemic and get ready for an amazing, fun summer of learning and play, we know there will continue to be challenges ahead including addressing children’s social-emotional needs, mitigating COVID-19 learning loss, and deepening our racial equity work as we work to address the systems of oppression that many of our families face. But I know that Launch will meet these challenges because of the incredible work of our teachers, and the partnership of our children, families, donors, volunteers, funders, and community.
Thank you for being a part of Launch’s community of support.
Dr. Angela Griffin, CEO