Seven years ago, the Moody Foundation partnered with local education leaders to provide an innovative school model that would prepare Galveston’s youngest learners for lifelong success.
This effort resulted in the launch of Moody Early Childhood Center — a beacon in the community that has since become a model for the state.
Research consistently demonstrates the importance of early learning. With 90 percent of the brain developed by age 5, quality early childhood education sets children on a trajectory for increased academic achievement, personal development and social mobility.
But quality doesn’t come easily, and our state has struggled to fund and scale effective early childhood programming. Moody Foundation trustees are honored to direct our investments to help fill that gap.
The educational model pioneered by the center couples public funding with private donations from the Moody Foundation and our peers across the community to create a holistic support system above and beyond what traditional public preschool can provide.
All educators at the center are highly qualified and compensated with a living wage, enabling the school to attract and retain top talent. Many of the center’s staff training have also been open to any licensed center on the island at no cost, ensuring every early childhood educator can earn qualifications that best serve Galveston students.
In addition, children attending the center benefit from smaller class sizes, extended hours, year-round instruction and services such as healthcare and parent education that support the entire family.
These efforts have earned the center the highest available accreditations, including Texas Rising Star’s four-star rating. The center is also the only one on the island to date to have earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children — the national gold standard in early childhood education.
This critical milestone has impacts that ripple through a child’s life. At scale, results like this can uplift entire communities. That vision drove our foundation’s initial investment in the center, and we are thrilled to see it coming to life.
In recent weeks, we’ve seen stories from the center’s families, staff and partners who have experienced the transformative impact of the center’s model first-hand. We now look to our district and community leaders to partner with us in extending these benefits to all local children from birth to age 5, particularly those in greatest need. The educational experience provided by the center is available to all local families, but too few are aware of these resources and their impact. Please join us in closing that information gap.*
We invite you to learn more by visiting the center’s website at moodychildhoodcenter.org and sharing the information with families, businesses and community partners.
All children deserve a high-quality early education experience. Together, we can raise awareness of the center’s work and ensure every Galveston child has the educational foundation they need for future success.
*This column was originally published in the Galveston County Daily News.