An innovative approach to opening doors of opportunity for children

Educare break-through banner

By Rose Tantraphol

Educare California at Silicon Valley is an innovative school in San Jose, California for early learning, and this video captures the moment last week when children broke open the school’s banner — a symbolic gesture that replaced a more traditional ribbon-cutting — to celebrate the school’s opening:

It meant so much to the Moonsail North team that we could assist with planning and managing the school’s celebrations, because this celebration signaled a new era of early learning opportunities for low-income children and their families. How could you not just melt watching the kids sing “All my friends are here with me” in English, Spanish and Vietnamese?

Educare California at Silicon Valley serves 168 children ages 0 to 5 and their families in a model early learning school, and houses high-quality early learning classrooms, a family resource center, a satellite children’s museum, a career academy for high school students, and a professional development institute that will help reach thousands more children in the region. At an event like this one, it’s hard not to reflect on how much the educational opportunities we are each given makes such a difference in our lives. On a project like this, our team gets the chance to use our communications and capacity-building skills to help an innovative educational organization that is literally helping to alter the life trajectories of children.

Event planning and management: A 24/7 kind of affair

Planning a community-wide event that would accommodate 400 people, in addition to a more intimate reception the evening beforehand, requires a lot of time and energy. Speakers included Congressman Mike Honda, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Portia Kennel, executive director of the Educare Learning Network — all of whom we helped prepare and authored talking points for. In this case, we had a very narrow lead time, but our team knows a thing or two about working on intense deadlines, and we knew it could work.

Plus — and this is key — we were working with incredible partners that included those at Educare California at Silicon Valley itself, the Educare Learning Network, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, FIRST 5 Santa Clara, and Santa Clara County Office of Education, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, and other organizations as well. What’s true of raising a child is also true of event planning — it takes a village. The Moonsail North crew gives a huge shout-out to all the folks — again, too many to name individually here — who made this possible.


Educare speakers



Keeping track of it all

Planning for an event like the Educare ribbon-cutting requires keeping a lot of balls in the air. Were the right people invited? Does the caterer offer appropriate food options? Does the tent set-up meet local regulations? Is there a podium? Audio/visual equipment? Pop-up banners? Having a hyper-organized Type-A list-maker like Sedora on our team certainly made this process a lot more efficient!

That said, things can change on the fly – you have to be flexible. Luckily, we were working with amazing partners who were willing to turn on a dime and modify as necessary.

Educarefacts copy











Reliving the moments

It’s been a week, but to be honest, we’re still recovering — and still relieving some of the special moments.

It was exciting to see the number of people who posted about the event using the hashtag #EducareSV. Here is just a sampling:

(Photo credits: By Moonsail North except for the break-through banner photo and the group of speakers, both taken by the Santa Clara County Office of Education and shared here with persmission.)