By Thomas J. Sullivan–
It was a busy final week for Tara Taylor, founder and executive director of Single Mom Strong, as paint brushes, finishing touches and licensing details gave way to a joyous grand opening celebration last weekend in Citrus Heights.
The June 15 grand opening welcomed local single mothers and their families to the new Single Mom Strong Empowerment Center, in Pratt Station at 7575 Auburn Blvd., Suite 5.
Taylor said her new center seeks to address the lack of affordable quality childcare in Citrus Heights and offers support, education, and events for single moms and their families. The co-operative style childcare center features classroom space, an open atrium and an indoor playground, which will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. for full-time or drop-in needs, staffed by a paid teacher and parent volunteers, Taylor said.
The center features values-based early childhood education programs, focused on reading, art and STEM activities.
The center’s partial-day summer preschool program will host 15 students per session, five days per week (Monday through Friday). Two sessions will be offered. A morning session from 7 a.m. to noon, and an afternoon session from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. An after-school program on weekdays will be offered for up to 28 students per session.
The center’s web site includes a schedule of what is offered during the month of July.
“We’re expecting sign-ups throughout the summer as more families learn about what we have to offer,” Taylor said. The new center will also offer a diverse curriculum for moms on such topics as goal setting, budgeting, self-defense, as well as one-on-one coaching.
Taylor’s daughter Desiree welcomed guests and visitors to the new Single Mom Empowerment Center during the grand opening event, as she shared her own story about the challenges her mother went through raising her as a single parent.
Taylor said she is grateful for the many donors, grants and sponsors that made the new center possible. Among the larger donors is the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s Sustainable Communities program, which gave $14,000 to the cause.
Lois and Irma Chavez, The Pera Family, ECMC Foundation, Design Tech, Bear Paw Equities, LEED Mechanical, Women Lawyers of Sacramento and Level 2 Security are additional contributors who supported the Empowerment Center’s grand opening.
When the new school year starts in the fall, Taylor said the center will offer preschool and childcare programs, including extended hours and drop-in care, in a co-operative style childcare where parents can volunteer in exchange for reduced rates.
Additional information about the new center and a schedule of summer programs can be found online at www.singlemomstrong.org/the-empowerment-center.