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Finding the Right Fit For Students

Dahlia Campus Strives To Be Welcoming Place For All

By Maya Wheeler

Special to the GPHN

As we near the end of the fall semester, many of us wonder how we made it this far without hurting someone. OK, that may sound a little drastic, but now that students have been in school for five months, for some, the newness (i.e. new teachers, new friends, new interests) has lost its luster. Instead of being happy each day, some of our children are naming every excuse in the book explaining why he or she can’t possibly go to school on a given day.

Children vary in so many ways; no one child is like another, they all have their own personalities and learning styles. Sometimes we stick with our assigned neighborhood school without knowing that we have choices of other schools that might better meet our child’s specific needs.

In Park Hill, we are fortunate to have a lot of choices when it comes to sending our children to school. Whether your young one just turned two-and-a-half, or you are looking for a different school for your child, it is important to consider all options. A choice that might be a good fit for your child is the Dahlia Campus Preschool and Kindergarten, temporarily located at Clayton Campus at Clayton campus at 3801 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

The Mental Health Center of Denver, Sewall Child Development Center and Denver Public Schools have partnered to build a state-of-the-art inclusive preschool that delivers high academic and social gains for all students, including those with mental health and developmental challenges.

When selecting a school, parents generally consider the curriculum, the child’s learning style, social skills, and available extracurricular activities. Another consideration is the school’s environment. One benefit of the Dahlia Campus preschool and kindergarten is its future location at the Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being, which offers access to outdoor learning landscapes, multi-generational play spaces, an urban farm, pediatric dentistry, and family supports.

Did you know that only 30 percent of health is determined by genetics and access to care? The other 70 percent is determined by environment and healthy behaviors. So the choices we make about food, activity and environment make a more significant difference than our DNA or how easy it is to see a doctor.

Knowing this, the Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being isn’t designed to just provide access to services, it will also provide a place for community members to connect with their neighbors, learn new skills and find supports they need to increase their health and well-being. Dahlia Campus will feature a hub of services and programs (e.g., cooking and nutrition classes, family education classes and support groups, farm and gardens, greenhouse, yoga classes for seniors, family therapy). The goal is to offer a welcoming place to children, families and adults where everyone can engage in activities that will help them feel good and live well.

As parents, one of our main responsibilities is to advocate for our child. Regardless of income, ethnicity, family circumstances or disability, children are entitled to an education that will help them reach their full academic, social, and professional potential.

If you’d like to learn more about the Dahlia Campus Preschool or pick up an application, stop by the Pauline Robinson Library (5575 E 33rd Ave). Enrollment is open for spring semester.

You are cordially invited to join MHCD for a day-time New Years Eve party on Thursday, Dec. 31 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Come check out the building, eat some food and celebrate the New Year with your family and neighbors.

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