Ari Kiener was MinnCAN’s public affairs manager from 2013-2016.

This story comes from Thomas, a single father in Roseville, Minnesota who knows his daughter will be prepared for kindergarten because of her early learning scholarship.

I am raising my daughter as a single father. My work is seasonal, so I can’t always afford to pay for her child care out of pocket. Without her early learning scholarship, my daughter would not be able to attend the Wilder Child Development Center. This scholarship has given my daughter the opportunity to readily prepare for kindergarten like the rest of the children her age. It allows for stability in my daughter’s education and, ultimately, for our family. We both love and are thankful for this scholarship.

I chose to send my daughter to the Wilder Childhood Development Center because I heard great things about the program and now that I’m here, I see they’re all true. As a single father, I feel accepted here. The program believes in partnering with parents and the teachers want me to be involved in my daughter’s education. As a result, both my daughter and I have had positive education experiences that will help us when she goes to public school this fall.

As a single father, I see my daughter’s need to be close to women who she can trust and learn from each day. My daughter has many nurturing female role models at the Wilder Childhood Development Center. It’s important to me that my daughter has women by her side to assist in her development as a whole person. The teachers bring out her beauty, positive self-esteem and academic potential.

The scholarship and Wilder Childhood Development Center have changed our lives, making us feel like we belong to a bigger family, even though it’s just the two of us. The teachers help us to see a brighter future. I’m really looking forward to my daughter’s graduation this fall and can already see that she’ll be ready for kindergarten.


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