Education Top Stories

Head Start launches funding campaign

Southern Ute Head Start teacher Brittney Benavidez, sits together with students, Rodger Tenorio and Paisley Moore during the SUCAP fundraiser held at Southern Ute Multi-Purpose facility on Wednesday, May 3.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum

The Southern Ute Community Action Programs (SUCAP), who oversees funding and implementation of the Southern Ute Head Start school program announced their plans for a capital campaign, Wednesday, May 2 at the Southern Ute Multi-Purpose Facility. The drive will be spearheaded by campaign coordinator Beth Lamberson Warren, who recently joined the Head Start fundraising team. Warren discussed ‘The House That We Built’ campaign theme, the building blocks toward reaching their $8 million goal, and the potential for achieving their fundraising objective.

The Southern Ute Head Start was relocated across Tribal Campus last year due to health and safety concerns surrounding the school’s central building — which dates back the 1930’s.  While some classes remain in the modular classrooms, others were relocated to the Southern Ute Cultural Center under a temporary use agreement, along with the school’s administrative staff.

SUCAP brought board members and the community together last week at the Southern Ute Multi-Purpose Facility as part of a fundraiser, dinner was served in exchange for donations. SUCAP Director Eileen Wasserbach opened with some background regarding their current efforts, highlighting the Friends of Ignacio Head Start and the fundraising progress they have made to this point.

Some of the key talking points surrounding the proposed school went beyond funding. Locating a suitable building site is still a primary concern, with the majority of staff favoring a location on or near Southern Ute Tribal Campus. The building will be about 25,000 sq. feet. And will include a multipurpose room that can be used for activities, dinners, and graduations.

SUCAP is also hoping to negotiate an extension to thier lease with the Tribe in order to continue using the Southern Ute Cultural Department for their classrooms and administration needs until the Head Start can open the doors to a new facility — a process which realistically will take a number of years to complete.

“How do we achieve buy-in from the community?” asked Warren. The school hopes to tell their story and emphasize the importance of Southern Ute Head Start within the community at large. The programs provide more than education. As a provider of early childcare, Head Start gives parents an opportunity to pursue careers. Head Start is also a local employer of teachers and faculty.

SUCAP intends to reinforce their fundraising efforts though heightened marketing and outreach. The school is hoping to achieve strong regional communication through The Southern Ute Drum newspaper, social media and local radio programs such as KSUT.

Contact Info:   Reach out to Campaign Coordinator Beth Lamberson, 970.749.1877 Friends of Ignacio Head Start Facebook page – “Like” and follow for updates.



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