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Storyteller Children’s Center Reaches Campaign Goal of $3.2 Million

Funds fuel expansion of early childhood education, support for homeless kids and their families

Storyteller Children’s Center is celebrating completion of its $3.2 million “Campaign for the Future,” which has allowed expansion of tuition-free early childhood education and comprehensive support services for Santa Barbara’s homeless and at-risk families.

“Community support for the campaign has been extraordinary,” said Yvette Giller, chairwoman of the Campaign for the Future and a Storyteller board member. “To finish the campaign in the midst of an economic recession is truly a testament to the great work Storyteller is doing.”

Nearly 200 donors contributed to the 2½-year fundraising effort. In addition to allowing Storyteller to open a second preschool and expand services to 70 children and their families from 42, proceeds from the campaign will supplement annual fundraising to help sustain operations at both of the nonprofit organization’s schools.

Founded in 1988, Storyteller operated at maximum capacity for several years at its 2115 State St. center. In July 2007, the Orfalea Fund helped kick off the organization’s campaign by purchasing the preschool located at 2121 De la Vina St. and providing it to Storyteller rent-free.

“Storyteller provides a high-quality, nationally accredited learning environment for children — and their families — that makes a true difference in their future and in our community,” said Adrianna Foss, early childhood education director, at the Orfalea Foundations. “The Orfalea Fund was delighted to help expand these critical services to more local children and families.”

Along with the Orfalea Fund, major donors to the campaign included several individuals and organizations such as the James S. Bower Foundation, Otis Booth Foundation, Ann Jackson Family Foundation, Mosher Foundation, Santa Barbara Foundation, Weingart Foundation, Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara and Wood-Claeyssens Foundation.

“Storyteller fulfills a unique need in this community,” said Palmer Jackson Jr., a trustee of the Ann Jackson Family Foundation. “Knowing the organization has strong leadership and is run very professionally were factors leading to our decision to support the campaign.”

“We are thankful to everyone who contributed in so many ways to this campaign,” said Storyteller executive director Terri Allison. “The need is great. Despite Storyteller’s recent expansion, our waiting list continues to grow and currently stands at 100 children.”

Click here for more information on Storyteller Children’s Center or click here to donate to Storyteller through givezooks!

— Denise Hinkle is development director at Storyteller Children’s Center.

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