(This letter was originally addressed to town of Carbondale trustees.)
We are writing to express our support for the Family Enrichment Center proposed for the old town library.
We support a community and town-centered early childcare facility in Carbondale for the following reasons:
• There is a need in Carbondale for full-time early childhood programs for infants and toddlers. Families contact our school regularly searching for quality care for their young children. A homelike environment with a focus on continuity of care is very valuable to all children in our community.
• There is a need in Carbondale for after-school care through fifth grade. Programming with a focus on gardening and the “living arts” is beneficial to all children and will provide important education in addition to academic classroom experience. It also will provide a valuable service to working parents in our community.
• There is a need in Carbondale for adult enrichment offered for the artistic and social renewal of parents. Our experience is that by enriching parents’ education, children and our greater community benefits tremendously. Parents will find a great resource in the Family Enrichment Center.
• There is a need in Carbondale for affordable tuition rates for everyone, and CCAP funding for low-income families. Quality child care for very young children is well-known as being essential to the future success of all communities. This project will benefit families and schools in many ways, including providing affordable tuition and excellent programming.
Following are a few comments from some of our board members that further illustrate how valuable the Family Enrichment Center is to Carbondale:
“As an avid bus rider I see on a daily basis how dependent many kids and families are on RFTA. It would seem critical to locate the Family Enrichment Center within walking distance of a RFTA stop. The current library location provides an ideal location.” — Dan Richardson
“My daughter attended Miss Kathryn Camp’s early childhood program. The homelike program fed our daughter Daisy with warm, nurturing and thoughtful activities. We saw her bloom and embrace the world outside our home as a safe and enjoyable place to be. It planted in her the seed of loving school!” — Valery Kelly
“The Family Enrichment Center is the best choice for Carbondale as it invests in our future by supporting our local children; it nurtures the families who are here; it will attract families with young children to Carbondale; it will provide rental income to the town; and it will preserve the character of the existing building and surrounding land.
“Furthermore, supporting the Family Enrichment Center is in alignment with the town of Carbondale’s mission statement to maintain and enhance an environmentally sensitive, culturally diverse, family oriented small town, with town government providing quality service to the Carbondale community.
“The comprehensive plan asks ‘How can Carbondale evolve and become an even better place without losing its quality and small-town character?’ The stated vision of the land-use plan for downtown is to ‘Encourage mixed use including ... facilities essential to the daily life of the residents.’ The Family Enrichment Center is the highest and best use for the old library because it best answers the question and provides a key service in alignment with the vision for downtown. Choosing the Family Enrichment Center is an opportunity for the town leaders to achieve the town’s stated vision and goals.” — Larry Smith
The Aspen Waldorf Foundation Board of Trustees
Dan Richardson, Valery Kelly, Erin Fernandez-Ely, Christi Small, Thea DeRudder, Kathleen Mumaw, Carla Comey, Larry Smith and Anne Menconi