We desire to be a
tangible support system for young children

 

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Why
We Exist

 

Simply put, there are children facing homelessness in Long Beach, California, and we want to educate, support and enrich them in their daily lives. Precious Lamb Preschool is available free of charge to children of homeless parents in Long Beach. 

Founder Sharalyn Croft dreamt up Precious Lamb Preschool long before we opened our doors in 2002. After working in private preschools for some time, noticing the quality care and low child-to-teacher ratio, she asked herself, “Why doesn’t this exist for poor families?” She began to develop a school with all the advantages of a top private school, but without the cost. She soon learned that in the local homeless shelters, there was a serious need for just her kind of program. That’s when Sharalyn knew the school wasn’t just her dream, it was a Godsend for many families. She knew it must be opened exclusively to families living in shelters. Precious Lamb began looking for a home in 1999, and First Lutheran Church near downtown Long Beach answered our call and welcomed us in. Since 2002, Precious Lamb has served hundreds of Long Beach families.

 
 

2,345

Long Beach has one of the highest homeless populations among large cities in the U.S. 

 

1/5

One-fifth of our homeless are under the age of 6.

19.8%

19.8% of residents in Long Beach live below the poverty line. 

2X

The average underserved family consists of a single mother in her late 20s with two children, one or both under the age of 6.

 
 

Our impact

  • Since 2002, PL has served hundreds of children ages 1.5-5 years.
  • We may serve as many as 70 kids in one school year.
  • 80% of every $1 we receive is spent on programming.
  • Each classroom has a uniquely low 1:4 ratio. All our teachers are qualified early educators. Classroom volunteers are required to serve a minimum of 4 months and undergo a screening process.
  • To enroll their children, parents and guardians must be actively pursuing treatment to improve the lives of their family (rehab, education, counseling, or job training). Our school is designed to allow the parent to attend the programs they need to during the day while their child is cared for. 
  • 67% of students with educational developmental delays show major improvement.
  • 80% of students with social-emotional developmental delays show major improvement.
  • PL partners with 20 local shelters and programs treating poverty, domestic violence, crisis pregnancy, substance abuse.
 

Our Mission and Vision

 

Breaking the cycle of homelessness, one child at a time.

Through early education that promotes faith building and school readiness we seek to foster permanent positive change in our families.

We want to be a tangible support system for young children and families dealing with crisis. Through nurturing, education and support, we help to bring restoration, stability and empowerment.

 
 

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