Community Chest Spotlight: Sewanee Children’s Center

The 2021-22 Sewanee Community Chest Fund Drive is underway. Sponsored by the Sewanee Civic Association, the Sewanee Community Chest raises money yearly for local charitable organizations serving the area. This year’s goal of $102,291 will help 20 organizations that have requested basic needs funding for quality of life, community aid, children’s programs, and those who are beyond Sewanee but still serve our entire community.

This week we shine the spotlight on the Sewanee Children’s Center.

Since 1949, the Sewanee Children’s Center (SCC) has been serving Sewanee and other communities with childcare, as well as a preschool and after-school curriculum that “respects childhood as a time to explore, create, and be joyful.” The SCC is a cooperative preschool that offers a comprehensive developmental preschool program responsive to the needs of local children and families.

The SCC’s purpose is to support every child’s creativity, empathy, and sense of self in a responsive, playful, and engaging environment. The Center continues to serve families in Marion, Franklin, and Grundy counties. There are currently 22 children from diverse economic backgrounds enrolled in the preschool program, and eight children in the afterschool program.

There is a growing number of families coming to the SCC from Tracy City, Winchester, and other areas outside of Sewanee because they believe in the Centers’ teaching philosophy. The SCC is requesting a total of $12,000 to be used for need-based tuition assistance for qualifying families in all of their programs: in preschool, after-school, and summer camp. 

The Sewanee Community Chest funding remains an integral part of the SCC budget, as it is the primary source of funding for financial aid to the families of SCC students, thus significantly broadening access for early childhood education beyond the University community. Thanks to the Community Chest funding, the preschool program is more accessible to a wider population than it might otherwise be, helping us not only to meet an important community need but also to fulfill a central part of our mission: reaching out to families of diverse socio-economic backgrounds. 

Since 1908, the goal of the Sewanee Community Chest has been to help citizens by funding the community. With Community Chest donations, local organizations provide for basic needs such as books, food, animal care, housing, scholarships, recreational spaces, elder care, children’s educational needs and more. The Sewanee Community Chest is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and donations are tax-deductible. Send your donation to Sewanee Community Chest, P.O. Box 99, Sewanee, TN 37375.

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