Zion Institute Thunderbirds Charities

Thunderbirds Charities Awards Zion Institute $80,000 to Expand Its Early Childhood Education Excellence Model in South Phoenix

Thunderbirds Charities awarded the Zion Institute $80,000, funding the replication of its quality educational childcare model. This allows low-income families access to the same level of service private preschools provide. “Zion’s approach reaches beyond childcare, equipping children for entering school, focusing on the holistic health of each family to foster an improved quality of life,” said Zion’s founder and CEO, Shawn Pearson.

A twelve-month pilot of Zion’s Preschool Excellence TM model has empowered a startup preschool to become a Quality First, financially sustainable organization. As a result, Zion Early Learning Academy (ZELA) is now in the process of purchasing its building and land.

“Quality, accessible early childhood education is an essential facet of an equitable and prosperous community,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “This model, combining the Zion Institute’s expertise with cross-sector community support, will not only benefit South Phoenix families for generations to come but will bring cascading benefits for our entire city.”

Funding from Thunderbirds Charities will support the launch of Life Changers, the next preschool implementing the Preschool Excellence TM model. In honor of the gift, Life Changers preschool space will be named “The Thunderbirds Imagination Learning Center.” The Phoenix Police Department and OpenTable are partners with Zion and will be organizing the social capital of the business community to support the expansion.

Zion Institute

This grant is part of the Fall 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees.