Aspen Community Foundation’s Preschool on Wheels program reaches $40,000 goal

Staff report
A partnership project between Aspen Community Foundation (ACF) and the Garfield School District Re-2, the Preschool on Wheels program is a signature project of Aspen Community Foundation’s Cradle to Career Initiative, which works to ensure 22,000 children are ready for kindergarten and graduate from high school ready for college and career.

The Preschool on Wheels program announced Tuesday that the Columbine Ford Rifle and the Mascotte family matching-grant challenge of $20,000 has been met by generous support from the Rifle, New Castle and Silt communities.

“We are delighted to meet our $40,000 matching goal, which demonstrates a broad base of community support for this impactful program,” said Tamara Tormohlen, executive director of Aspen Community Foundation.

Donors whose contributions were matched dollar-for-dollar by Columbine Ford Rifle and the Mascotte family include Keith and Sarah Lambert, B & Y Drilling, Rotary Club of Rifle, Williams Energy, Alpine Bank Rifle, Alpine Bank New Castle, Sam and Terri Potter, Talbott Enterprises, Casey Trucking, Canyon Cleaners, Tom Stuver/Western Colorado Community Foundation, Ryan and Katie Mackley, Town of Silt, Pediatric Partners, Choice Liquors, Preceptor Beta Kappa and WPX Energy.

The Preschool on Wheels program is in its third school year with Gus the Bus and The Sunshine Bus delivering quality preschool to three-, four- and five-year-old children who would not otherwise receive these services and who are at risk for starting school unprepared. The buses each serve 60 children so 120 children living in Rifle, Silt and New Castle will have an opportunity for a preschool experience.

Gus and Sunshine are state-of-the-art retrofitted school buses equipped with learning centers that help children develop skills necessary to be successful in kindergarten and become lifelong learners. Each week Gus and Sunshine visit eight neighborhoods in Rifle, Silt and New Castle where four qualified early childhood teachers provide a literacy-rich educational experience to children and support families with training and resources so they can be actively engaged in their child’s learning.

For more information on how to support the Preschools on Wheels program, contact Jayne Poss at 970-925-930.