Educational First Steps, whose mission is to improve the availability of quality early childhood education for economically disadvantaged children, has announced details of its fifth annual One Childhood One Chance luncheon. The luncheon will be held on Friday, November 17 at Omni Dallas Hotel (555 S. Lamar St.) from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Co-chairs are sisters Merry Munson Wyatt, Kathryn Munson Beach and Meg Munson McGonigle. Honorary co-chairs are David Jr., Charles and John Munson, cousins of the co-chairs. The sisters made these announcements at the newly opened Veronica Beard boutique at Highland Park Village on September 13 where supporters and board members attended.
Beach said, “We invite you to support this luncheon that helps raise critical funds to help bring quality early education to 6,000 at-risk children. It’s definitely a family affair for us as it was founded by our great uncle, David Munson Sr., on his belief that every child, regardless of their economic circumstances or their zip code, deserves and needs a quality education.”
The luncheon features Sonia Manzano, who inspired, educated and delighted children and families as “Maria” on Sesame Street for more than 30 years. Named among the “25 Greatest Latino Role Models Ever” by Latina Magazine, she broke ground as one of the first Hispanic characters on national television.
Her latest book, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx, is Manzano’s tale of perseverance and courage in overcoming countless obstacles to become one of the most influential Latinas in television.
Beach added, “Sonia will inspire us as a community committed to supporting common sense, real-life solutions for narrowing the disparities among us in early childhood chances.”
Thanks to the funds raised from this luncheon, EFS partners with 93 daycare centers in at-risk neighborhoods, carrying out a results-driven program for becoming nationally accredited preschools, at no cost to the centers, teachers or parents. These centers progress from daycares providing little more than babysitting to nationally accredited early education centers that become anchors in their neighborhoods while preparing more children for school and life success. About 6,000 at-risk children ages birth to 5 years old are receiving quality early education because of EFS’ investment.
EFS, which started in south Dallas, has grown to serve Tarrant, Denton, Johnson, Collin and Grayson counties, collaborating across 22 school districts. They are continually pushing the boundaries and aggressively scaling programs to place more students in quality learning environments.
For information about underwriting opportunities or tickets, contact Judy Schecter at JSchecter@educationalfirststeps.org or 214-824-7940. Table for ten starts at $2,000, and a ticket is $175. More information can be found at http://educationalfirststeps.org/.