For more than 25 years, the Storyteller Children’s Center has provided an invaluable service to at-risk children in Santa Barbara County. Because childcare costs average $13,000 a year in the area, many families cannot afford these services. The Storyteller Children’s Center provides a solution to this problem with free, high quality early childhood education. At present, the preschool serves more than 80 children, providing them with the one-on-one attention they need to get a head start before entering elementary school.
Last year, the organization celebrated a major milestone as it moved into a permanent facility on De La Vina Street in Santa Barbara. A combination of government and community grants, as well as generous private donations, allowed the organization to purchase the property without debt, which will allow it to focus on providing its extremely important services to children in need and potentially expanding its capacity in the future.
The Storyteller Children’s Center fills an important need in the community. Nearly half of the students at the preschool have special needs, and the school’s employees are equipped to address these issues and prepare them for a life of success. The center also employs a “wrap-around” approach to education that addresses the needs of parents by helping them secure reliable work or return to school to work toward a better future. Children exposed to instability and chaos at home may suffer consequences in terms of brain development. By offering assistance to parents, the center helps families create stable home environments where children can thrive. In addition, the teachers at the school offer crisis intervention for families and collaborate with CALM (Child Abuse Listening Mediation) to provide crucial therapy services.
To learn more about the Storyteller Children’s Center, including how to get involved as a volunteer or support the school through donations, visit StorytellerCenter.org.