Monday, February 3, 2014

PTO Thrift Shop helps First Steps serve Ann Arbor's youngest children

Guest blogger Marj Hyde, Coordinator, First Steps-Ann Arbor

I've had a tremendous appreciation for the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop ever since my children were students in Ann Arbor Public Schools. Over the years, I've volunteered at the shop and donated many gently used clothes and household items. I continue donating because I know that all of my little donations (and everyone else’s!) makes a difference for every child, parent and teacher in the AAPS.

It never occurred to me that the AAPS program I run and care so deeply about might also receive support from the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop! 

First Steps helps babies, toddlers and preschoolers -- and their parents


I’m the coordinator of First Steps-Ann Arbor, a division of Rec&Ed. Our program serves all families who live in the AAPS district with children from birth to kindergarten entry. First Steps provides the information, support and encouragement parents need to help their infants, toddlers and preschoolers develop optimally during the crucial early years of life. 


Sitting on his parent's lap,
this baby enjoys a First Steps
mirror activity.

Through our classes and programs at three AAPS buildings, the youngest members of the AAPS community build social skills and explore topics such as music, art and science. At the same time, their parents learn best practice parenting strategies for nurturing their children's development and enjoy access to special parenting classes and activities.   

PTO Thrift Shop helps fill gap in First Steps funding


Last year, First Steps lost a major source of on-going funding due to cuts at the state level. Our newly formed First Steps PTO has worked hard to replace this funding through special events, grants and fundraising. The Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop is a critical part of this effort. Ann Farnham, director of the PTO Thrift Shop, walked me through the process so that First Steps can receive regular financial support -- thank you Ann! 

Shopping at the PTO Thrift Shop is a wonderful way to support First Steps and all other AAPS schools! You can also donate directly to First Steps via our website -- it's really easy, especially if you already have an on-line account with Rec&Ed.

For more information about First Steps

Visit our website, email firststeps@aaps.k12.mi.us, or call (734) 994-2300, ext. 53186.

Please spread the word about First Steps-Ann Arbor by sharing this post.

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