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Thu, Jan. 27

Local school grows - but where?

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

After the closing of Big Park Community School (BPCS), families longed to have a place in the community where our kids could learn together. We had the vision to create a neighborhood school in a dedicated space, and that vision became the Sedona Village Learning Center (SVLC), an early childhood program currently located on the former BPCS campus.

Going on our second year, our kids are thriving at SVLC. As working parents, we are grateful to have an excellent school right in the Village. It is what every parent dreams of for their children: caring teachers, hands-on curriculum, and a Nature Program focused on experiential, outdoor education. We have several community partnerships providing music, literacy and the arts.

As board members, we have seen our school grow. We were recently awarded a $180,000 grant by the Arizona Department of Economic Security, and we are part of the Arizona tax credit school tuition organization that offsets the cost for eligible students. We’ve had requests for additional grades beyond preschool, and there is clearly a strong desire for the school to continue growing. Our ultimate goal is to fulfill these requests and expand to serve more children, however this is not possible in our current location.

Despite our best efforts, our 2022 lease at BPCS was only granted through May. This forces us to relocate… but where? It is our mission to meet the community’s needs and to be a place that families can rely on.

Our search for a space in the VOC has been ongoing for months, to no avail. Although a wonderful option has been found in Cottonwood, staying local is important to our families, donors and friends. Many have fundraised to provide tuition assistance for dozens of families.

Former Big Park principal and SVLC volunteer Russ Snider notes, “This is an exemplary program with an outstanding staff. Students are learning in a fun, creative classroom which is so important in their early childhood development.”

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