FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MOTHERS’ CLUB INVITES THE COMMUNITY TO “OOH AND AAH” OVER ITS “NEW BABY” – ITS NEW “GREEN” FAMILY LEARNING CENTER
A Grand Opening celebrating the completion of the first “Green” preschool in California and the nation will take place October 30
PASADENA, Calif. On October 30, Mothers’ Club Family Learning Center will proudly announce the ‘arrival’ of what Executive Director Sue Kujawa has often referred to as “our new baby” – the nonprofit organization’s new home at 980 North Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena, California. A Grand Opening celebration will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the public is strongly encouraged to attend.
While all babies are unquestionably special, Mothers’ Club newest ‘addition’ has a very unique claim to fame: it is the first “Green” preschool in Southern California and the nation. (Obviously this needs to be verified; I’m writing this w/ fingers crossed!)
Mothers’ Club does not make this claim lightly. The new $6.5 million facility will be certified at the Gold Level by the U.S. Green Building Council as part of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System – a national standard for developing high performance, sustainable buildings.
“Early in the design phase, our Board of Directors unanimously approved plans for a sustainable design,” explains Kujawa. “A ‘green’ building is not only in line with our value of providing a safe, nurturing environment for children and families but also reflects our continued commitment to being a model family learning center. We hope to inspire other members of the community and organizations nationwide to follow in our footsteps.”
“This is especially true for children who live in terrible conditions and have no outdoor space,” adds Judy Smith Asbury, President of the Board of Directors. “For many families we serve, our outdoor play area this is their only backyard.”
Mayor Bill Bogaard of Pasadena wholeheartedly supports the “green” mission undertaken by Mothers’ Club. “Through the design of their new sustainable facility, Mothers’ Club continues to demonstrate a visionary commitment to a strong and healthy community,” he says.
Sustainable elements incorporated into Mothers’ Club’s new home by design team Harley Ellis Devereaux and GreenWorks Studio include: specialty hardscape and roofing materials to reduce heat absorption; pervious concrete paving in the parking area and permeable surfaces in children’s play areas to permit storm water to penetrate the soil, filtering pollutants and recharging the water table; water efficient landscaping; water efficient fixtures which will reduce the use of potable water by 30% below the base line established by the Energy Policy Act; an 18 KW Photovoltaic System to provide more than 20% of the facility’s power requirements; low emitting paints, adhesives, sealants and carpet systems, which will protect the health of building occupants; and skylights and clerestories to provide daylight to more than 80% of the occupied spaces, maximizing daylight which is known to improve learning conditions. In addition, 75% of the former building’s structure was reused in the new site.
“We’re even going to clean our new home in an environmentally responsible fashion,” adds Kujawa. “We’ll use only ecologically compatible cleaning materials. We will teach our families how to do this as well. Many have no awareness of the impact of chemicals in cleaning agents. For the future, to truly change the cultural attitude toward our planet, we have to start modeling environmental responsibility to children and their parents from the very start.”
“We are thrilled that our new family learning center will allow us space to expand and reach hundreds more families who are striving to build a better life for themselves and their children,” Smith Asbury reveals. “In the past, families have sometimes had to wait up to two years on a waiting list to take part in our programs.”
The new family learning center will include an Infant and Toddler Center, a Preschool, an Outdoor Learning Center for children, and a Parent Education Center.
“Mothers’ Club is more than a preschool,” explains Kujawa. “Ever since our founding in 1961, we have believed that, in order for significant, long term change to occur within the families we serve – families living in isolation and poverty – you must reach both parent and child and educate them together. Our two generation programs are designed to increase the school-readiness of at-risk children, increase parenting skills and adult literacy levels, and teach parents to be active participants in their children’s learning, both at home and at school.”
The optimum time to participate in such programs, Kujawa adds, is when children are most vulnerable and impressionable – between birth and five years old.
Recently, Mothers’ Club received validation as an “Exemplary Family Literacy Program” from the Family Literacy Support Network (FLSN), a department established within the Los Angeles County Office of Education.
“It seems only fitting to have an exemplary facility for our exemplary programs,” says Kujawa with a smile.
Founded in 1961, Mothers’ Club Family Learning Center prepares families living in isolation and poverty to succeed in school and in life. The organization promotes strong parent-child relationships and encourages friendship and mutual support among mothers through its education programs and social services, thereby creating a stronger community for all families.
For more information about Mothers’ Club, visit www.mothersclub.org or call 626.792.2687. Mothers’ Club is currently located at 526 East Orange Grove Blvd in Pasadena, California.
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@ 2006 Mothers' Club Family Learning Center