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Little Learners Scholarship fundraiser is April 25

The second annual Hastings Community Education Little Learner Scholarship Fundraiser, “Garden of Giving 2014—Let’s Play!” will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, April 25, at the Hastings Country Club, 2015 Westview Drive.

Tickets for the event are $5 in advance and $8 at the door, and include a ticket for one of the many “Minute to Win It” type games at the event that evening. Additional game tickets can be purchased during the event. A cash bar, appetizers and the popular “Not-So-Silent Auction” will add to the evening.

Last year, the Early Childhood Programs received a $3,000 grant from the United Way of Hastings. The fundraiser netted $3,700. The goal this year is to raise $4,000 to match the 2014 United Way grant of $4,000.

“Research on the benefits of high quality early childhood education is clear,” said Michelle Thompson, coordinator of the Hastings Community Education Early Childhood Programs. “They prepare young children to succeed in school. Every dollar invested in quality early care and education saves taxpayers up to $13.”

Hastings’ Community Education Preschool and School Readiness programs have received a 4-Star Rating (out of 4 stars) from Parent Aware, Minnesota’s rating tool for selecting high quality child care and early education. On average, the programs provide scholarships and fee assistance for about 30 percent of all enrolled children and families. Proceeds from the fundraiser go directly to families in the form of this financial assistance.

“Early Childhood Family Education is a program for families that begins with the birth of their first child,” said Thompson.

The program helps parents discover the tools to be and remain their child’s first and most important teachers. Families are connected with services that are important to the help and development of their children. Daytime and evening classes are offered.

Tickets can be purchased at Tilden Community Center, 310 River Street in Hastings. For more information, call 651-480-7670.