“The YWCA encourages the children to play outdoors. An example of the child led philosophy.”

by Marina Andalon

DIG Childhood Center, a Family Cooperative Preschool that was located the YWCA Westside/Santa Monica on the corner of 14th and Pico.

It was announced that YWCA will be closing and DIG plans to relocate. They are now searching for $150,000 in donations to help create and facilitate the move.

The YWCA has shut down most of its programs earlier this year. DIG opened in 2011 and has been operating for the past six years. They will be forced to move out as the lease expires December 30.

The school is different from many other preschools. The program is child directed and focuses on each individual’s social and emotional well-being. They provide the students special attention by having a low teach to student ratio, along with a certified outdoor classroom.

“Our country’s current educational model is failing. Young children are sitting more, and pressured to learn more, have less time to play and exhibit more childhood anxiety than any other generation,” said DIG Executive Director Nicki Backlar. “We need more progressive early childhood education that gives kids a chance to be outside, direct their own play and teaches them how to work through conflicts while being supported.”

DIG has recently found a new location that meets the requirements such as proper licensing and a secure lease in Mar Vista. The program has launched a campaign to help raise $150,000 that would bring the new location up to date, and uphold their ground-breaking curriculum. Closing their doors would result in leaving an estimated 50 families without a place to send their children to school.

According to the press release, Gordon said, “DIG is a unique school that has given so much to our family and to the community. It was inspiring to see the responses from artists and fans alike who recognize the value of DIG’s approach and the importance of better preparing our kids today so they can make positive contributions to society as adults.”

DIG has received a generous donation of 25,000 by the Circle Talent Agency and the Gordon Family. Kevin Gimble and Steve Gordon, Co-Owners of the Circle Talent Agency decided to gather a group of artist to help put on a benefit concert to raise money for the school.

All funds donated will continue to be used to create the new school and will not be used for operating costs. If the school fails to reach its goal and does not move to a new location, all donations will be returned to their donors.

For more information or would live to make a donation, visit the website below.