First Steps-Ann Arbor PTO began in 2013 with two purposes: to help raise funding for scholarships for First Steps families and to raise community awareness about the programs and activities First Steps offers to young families. We are a 501(c)(3) and accept tax deductable donations.
Our mission is to ensure that families with children, birth to entry into kindergarten, can participate in the First Steps-Ann Arbor program and receive the parent education and family support so fundamental to their future success.
Our goal is to promote and encourage communication between parents, teachers, administration and the community by sponsoring and organizing fundraisers and school events which deepen our community spirit and enrich our children's educational, social, and developmental experiences.
Our hope is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and our community to advocate for all children.
First Steps-Ann Arbor PTO strives to ensure that all families with children birth to 5 years old receive the support and knowledge they need to help their children develop optimally and arrive at kindergarten ready to learn.
Washtenaw County has an Early Head Start program where home visitors meet regularly with families at or below 100% of the poverity level. Children participating are all under 3. When these children turn 3, some of them go to Head Start at the Westerman Preschool & Family Center. This is the same location that First Steps-Ann Arbor offers most of their classes. First Steps offers 100% scholarships to these families. Last year 3 Early Head Start families joined our classes in January and attended for Winter, Spring and Summer. Then, in Fall all three began attending preschool through Head Start at Westerman. They were confident on their first day because they'd been coming with their parent to the same school for over 6 months. The parents were confident and involved from the beginning too. We provide over 230 children each year with scholarship support and every dollat we raise through this fundraising effort goes to support families just like these.
Since First Steps-Ann Arbor began in 2001, we have helped thousands of children, and their parents, have access to classes and activities with First Steps-Ann Arbor. With scholarship fund support, so many more children and their parents can participate. The PTO's members are current and former parents and staff of First Steps and community members who care deeply about early childhood opportunities for families. We welcome interested people to join us as a board member or as a volunteer at our events. Please get involved and help us all make a difference.