An early childhood education center with locations in northeast and northwest Denver is providing an enhanced learning environment to 350 economically and ethnically diverse students it serves annually, with help from Energy Outreach Colorado.
The Family Star Montessori School’s northwest location at 2246 Federal Blvd. received $46,140 in energy efficiency improvements through EOC’s Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Program (NEEP), including energy efficient windows, lighting upgrades, weather-stripping for doors, and new dishwashers and refrigerators. In total Family Star’s electricity costs have dropped by more than $200 a month and there is a reduced need for maintenance at the 66-year-old building.
“That significant savings has allowed us to free up additional dollars for other program expenses that directly benefit the children and families we serve, including classroom materials and teacher wages and continuing education,” said Monica Roers, executive director of Family Star. “NEEP funding also helped Family Star leverage other funds to renovate our classroom kitchens. We truly would not have been able to make these important upgrades to our school without Energy Outreach Colorado’s support!”
Family Star provides year-round Montessori education in both English and Spanish as well as comprehensive family support services to students ages eight weeks to six years. About 75 percent of the families it serves are below the federal poverty level and receive both childcare subsidies and Head Start services.
Mandi Ericson, a Family Star parent and staff member, said the building is now more comfortable in the hot summer and cold winter months. “As a parent you want to see the school facility being taken care of and it reflects on the care of your child,” she added.