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Creating and Transforming Quality Centers

For eight years, Educational First Steps (EFS) has served Pace & Ross Learning Center as a partner school. Through the years, six teachers have graduated from our Child Development Associate program, increasing their effectiveness as teachers in early childhood education classrooms.

Our Pre-Accredited Partner Team led Pace & Ross through their initial National Accreditation process. Becoming accredited spans several years of mentoring, formal training and enrichment activities. An accreditation award is a major achievement for a school and is indicative of their commitment to providing a high-quality learning experience.  “I almost gave up because it was so different from what we were doing and thought worked,” said Brenda Pace, Director and Owner of Pace & Ross. “Lawanda, our EFS Specialist was patient with me and persistent. I’m so happy she was, now I see the difference achieving quality brings to my teachers and the growth of the children.”

Once accredited, sustaining the business by attracting parents to quality is a priority of our Accredited Partner Team. It begins with unique branding and marketing that share the school’s benefits and value.  A positive experience for parents entering the center is the next step to ensure a quality school can gain and retain enrollment.

Many partner schools, like Pace & Ross, experience barriers to achieving high-quality learning environments and increasing enrollment, due to lack of funding, wear of older buildings, and a need for expertise.
Thanks to generous donors, Educational First Steps breaks barriers to help schools become accredited and gain a competitive edge through physical improvements, design and marketing to boost sustainability.

Most recently at Pace & Ross, new flooring was installed in the entrance area, hallway and two classrooms. The school’s interior was decluttered and freshly painted to provide a cohesive appeal. “The teachers were inspired by their new spaces and have been implementing tactics from their recent [Educational First Steps] trainings to maintain the upkeep,” Ms. Pace said.

The goal of this work is to serve more children in quality centers to prepare them to have a strong start to achieve success in both academics and life. Through partnership with Educational First Steps, Pace & Ross has increased their standard of excellence. Since 1994, 60% of students that have matriculated through Pace & Ross have graduated from high school and pursued higher education. Since becoming an Accredited Partner, enrollment has increased 45%, from 49 (0-5) to 71 (0-5). This impact in the Oakcliff community wouldn’t be possible without generous donors like you.  

Learn about other stories of impact and the work of Educational First Steps in the community at our One Childhood One Chance annual event. Pledge a sponsorship today by texting EFS30 to 41444