Event to save 60-year old program and honor “real super-heroes”

Thursday, December 9, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab in Santa Cruz
Cost is $40/person or $65/couple
Tickets are available online at www.3pens.org

3PENS, a group of parent participation preschools including SCPENS, WPENS and SoquelPENs, will host its first-ever collective alumni and fundraising gala on Thursday, December 9, from 5:30-8:30p.m. at Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab in Santa Cruz.

The three preschools banded together earlier this year in the wake of budget cuts made be Santa Cruz City Schools, resulting from state budget cuts and changes in the rules for how state funding is allocated to schools.

“The 3PENS parent participation preschools are jewels of our community,” said Wendy Wyckoff, long-time teacher at SCPENS. “Not only are the kids getting a quality start to their education, but the parents are continuing their education to be more involved, community role models and leaders.  It’s an innovative model that has worked for six decades in Santa Cruz.”

A silent auction will be included in the event with themes such as “A Night Out”, “Family Fun”, “All About Wine,” “Parent Survival Kit” &  “Ocean Escape.” Hearty appetizers, dessert and wine will be served. Live music will be performed.

“With the budget crisis and loss of our funding from the district, the success of this event, and other fundraising programs, is critical to the livelihood of 3PENS,” said Susie O’Hara, co-president of WPENS. Cost is $40/person or $65/couple. Tickets are available online at www.3pens.org. Download the flier here.

Long-time PENS teachers were recently honored as Community Heroes by the United Way of Santa Cruz during a presentation of the 2010 Community Assessment Project.  Acknowledged for their contributions to education were Cory Cherk and Jeanne Carrier, WPENS Teachers; Kim Woodland and Nancy Samsel, Soquel PENS Teachers; Dara Thornton, Wendy Wyckoff and Maggie Klepp, Santa Cruz PENS Teachers

3PENS is a coalition of three non-profit, parent cooperative pre-schools that offer quality education to both child and parent.  The 3PENS schools consist of Westside Parent Education Nursery School (WPENS), Santa Cruz Parent Education Nursery School (SCPENS) and Soquel Parent Education Nursery School (SoquelPENS).  The schools are affiliated with the Santa Cruz Adult School of the Santa Cruz City School District, are staffed by credentialed teachers and have been a community treasure for the past 61 years. Parent participation is the cornerstone of the 3PENS programs. Along with the care and experience of credentialed teachers, parents are involved in running every aspect of the school. This involvement enhances the quality of the program as each family shares its own unique talents. Parents share resources, build friendships, grow a deep sense of community and learn to advocate for their children