My child attended A Stepping Stone Foundation and graduated form the program in May of 2010. I went into the program because I was concerned about my daughter’s shyness and lack of interaction with other children. I received my high school diploma in 1997 and never attended college. I began to attend the GED classes offered by the foundation to sharpen my skills since it had been quite a few years since I graduated. It was tough at first but my teacher was patient and understanding. The foundation took our GED class on a small field trip to a local community college and to be honest I felt intimidated and scared. As we walked through the campus I began to realize that college was for me and that I was able to go and make something of myself. I was a stay at home mom and I thought that staying home with my children was what I was going to be doing for the rest of my life. Thanks to A Stepping Stone Foundation I have learned to shake off my fears and jump into early childhood teaching with confidence. I appreciate everything this foundation has done for me and my family because they not only helped my child decide what she wants to be when she grows up but what I want to be for the rest of my life. Ann
Ever since 2004 I have learned about A Stepping Stone Foundation and their mission. After being a former recipient scholar for 5 years I became a board member to offer my support to the foundations mission. I have learn more in dept while working with the members and realized all the determination, dedication, and hard work that goes into providing students and better opportunity in education. I have also seen parents of the students advance in their education. I have nothing but positive comments and experience with A Stepping Stone Foundation.
I have spent the past 29 years working in the field of Early Childhood Education as a teacher and administrator. I visit the current classrooms on a regular basis and observe each child's growth in confidence and the development of skills needed to be successful in kindergarten. They have started on the path to be life long learners. By their participation in this program, parents are teaching their children by example, the importance of education.
As a past president of A Stepping Stone Foundation, I have a different perspective on the amazing effectiveness of the program. I have always believed our preschool program to be “top drawer” in its concepts and quality of its teachers, both in their abilities and passion to teach. I also recognize that there are other preschool programs that are of similar high quality. But, what I personally find most compelling is the ‘Adult Literacy’ component which sets A Stepping Stone apart from most other preschool programs. It is the required “sweat equity” of the parent(s) that allows their child to attend the SSF preschool. Classes for the parents include: English as a Second Language (ESL), Parenting and various classes needed to acquire a GED. Home visits by our teachers and volunteering in the child’s classroom are also required. As any educator will tell you, a parents involvement in their child’s education is vital to their success, especially when the child is at high risk of school failure due to economic or environmental factors. More importantly, given today’s current climate regarding the subject of immigration, A Stepping Stone Foundation demonstrates what a “pro-active” response looks like in deference to the negative rhetoric all too common in conversation and media. By educating the young child, we greatly enhance their potential to graduate high school (at least) and become a contributing member of society, and maybe more! By educating the parent, we double the affect on the child, AND greatly enhance the parent becoming a “tax paying”, proud, law abiding , contributing member of society!! As said by many a great leader and philosopher, “The greatness of a society can be measured by how those who are “blessed” help lift up those who are the “least” of their society.” A Stepping Stone Foundation is a fine example of that quote, and I am very proud to be associated with them! Mike Gattorna
Review from Guidestar
I went to a Stepping Stone Foundation preschool and since then, I was qualify to be in the Stepping Stone Foundation scholarship. The ASSF helped me immensely especially during these economic crisis. At this time, I was able to go to college for a whole year. The scholarship helped me buy my textbooks and classes; I am entirely grateful to the board members. Let me tell you a story...My first scholarship lasted me for two semesters of college; however, the remaining of my scholarship wasn't enough to pay for my tuition. I seek the board member's help and they did their best to give me the rest of what I owe. They did. I was able to pay my tuition before my classes got canceled and I was entirely grateful, more than grateful. ASSF is an organization with honest and gentle-loving people who are determine to help high school graduates in need.
I went to preschool with A Stepping Stone Foundation. The staff and volunteers raised money in order to help young children and their families who are at disadvantage due to their socioeconomic setting. My preschool teacher was a staff of ASSF and she was wonderful in helping me prepare for Kindergarten. I would have been more behind in school if I did not receive an early education on English and social skills that the classroom provided. Also, when I attended college, ASSF was there to provide any support that I would have needed, especially morally. Everyone associated with ASSF were there to encourage me, provide assistance, and show passion in helping the next generation to succeed. I was blessed with the assistace of such a great organization. Now in graduate school, I am still in much contact with them and am always witnessing the future successful students that are graduating from this program.