Get Involved-Spotlight: Mainspring Schools
Mainspring Schools is an Austin treasure serving low-income children since 1941. Mainspring provides pre-school and childcare to the working poor and those making the tough transition from welfare to work. But to say that we are only a childcare center is an understatement, because we provide the highest quality early education as evidenced by our accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young children. We also hold parenting education classes because to truly make a difference for children, families must become more successful.
Helping Disadvantaged Children Get a Great Start
Economics rears its ugly head, even for four year olds. Children from low-income homes are at a distinct disadvantage educationally. On average, children from low-income homes start school already years behind middle-and upper-class children. They have heard far fewer words, had fewer books read to them, and have had fewer experiences in the world.
Research shows that quality education in the earliest years-while brains are still forming-can overcome these limitations and help disadvantaged children start school ready to learn and succeed. But it must be very high quality early education; the kind of educational services that Mainspring Schools provides.
Parenting EducationResearchers have also identified parenting practices that are most likely to produce successful children. These parenting practices are often antithetical to the practices employed by disadvantaged families; but, they can be taught. Teaching successful parenting practices-along with parent support and empowerment—is a core piece of the Mainspring parenting program that complements our early education program.
Our ResultsAnd it’s working. Mainspring graduates go on to public school and do better in reading and language arts. They exhibit more self-control. Their parents are more involved in the school. These are the very things that help children succeed in the early grades.
Vision for TomorrowOur foremost goal is to serve more children, especially more disadvantaged children who most need enriched early education in order to succeed in school and in life. Additionally, we want to be a dependable resource for families. To make these two important differences in the community, Mainspring schools must expand our building to open more classrooms.
Will You Join Us?Mainspring Schools invites the community to join with us in this important work. The School has many wonderful volunteer activities for individuals and groups, one-time or on-going, with children or with adults. You can push a child on the swing under the shade of an oak tree, read to her, or play ball. Your group can paint a classroom, shovel sand on the playground, or you can hold a spaghetti supper and donate the proceeds to Mainspring. Computer skills, fundraising skills, and graphics skills are needed and welcomed. You’re invited to be part of the very promising future we are building.