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V4I1: Skagit Valley College’s new Early Learning and Childcare Center

Skagit Valley College and Skagit Valley College Foundation celebrate the groundbreaking of the Sue Krienen Early Learning and Childcare Center which will be located at 2011 N. La Venture Road, Mount Vernon, WA.

In 2017, Sue Krienen, an early learning advocate and former Shell executive, stepped forward with a generous $275,000 pledge to help SVC address a community shortage in childcare facilities and hands-on training for Early Childhood Education students. Her plan was to not only build capacity and instructional opportunities, but to create a space that would serve as a community resource for continuing and family education throughout Skagit County.

After receiving an $800,000 grant in 2019 from the Washington State Department of Commerce, SVC Foundation launched a full-scale fundraising effort to finish the project. Since then, the Foundation has raised over $3 million in community donations and grants, including a $1.5 million grant from the Head Start national office.

This project would not be where it is today without Sue Krienen’s leadership, passion, and vision. To honor her commitment, the SVC Board of Trustees recently approved naming the building as the Sue Krienen Early Learning and Childcare Center.

“Sue’s vision reflects our Core Themes of Equity in Access, Achievement, and Community,” said SVC President Tom Keegan. “By partnering with our donors and supporters, the College will be able to provide additional resources for parents, families, and organizations involved in early learning and kindergarten readiness, which will help our students succeed and strengthen the community.”

When it opens next spring, the Center will serve 28 to 30 children and will be managed as programs of Skagit/Islands Head Start and ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program). At nearly 5,000 square feet, the Center will include a toddler classroom, a preschool classroom, a parent room, and an outdoor area. In addition, it will incorporate an observation space designed for SVC’s Early Childhood Education students.


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