LSP365: Helping Little Sun People Survive COVID-19

Will you help us Sustain LSP so that we can continue Living & Teaching Black History Every Day?

A fundraising campaign for Little Sun People, Inc.

Renovations, PPE, Technology, oh my! If you haven’t already heard, NYC preschools have gotten the green light to reopen their facilities. But there is so much to be done to get Little Sun People ready to re-open in September, and we cannot do it without your help. You helped us make it thru the spring of 2020 and your generosity made all the difference. No donation is too small and every dollar makes a difference in our communities.

Keep scrolling down to learn

how YOU can help LSP re-open!

#fundBlackfutures


June 2020 Update: What's next for Little Sun People?

Since closing its physical doors on March 16, Little Sun People has made it thus far with support from a diverse cross-section of family and friends from across the country—including YOU— and we are eternally grateful. With your support, whether it was financial or pounding the pavement to make sure that Little Sun People had access to Payroll Protection Program funding, we were able to continue a remote learning program, pay our teaching staff for their work through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, and have a mini-graduation for our class of 2020. And in the midst of the ongoing crises, LSP has joined the Brooklyn Coalition of Early Childhood Programs to advocate for a serious investment in early childhood education in our beloved borough. 


While we had hoped to have some sort of in-school experience starting in July, it just cannot happen yet. Little Sun People is governed by the New York City Department of Health and, like all other private childcare providers not currently open for children of essential workers, has been ordered to keep its physical doors closed until further notice. 

We anticipate being able to open our physical location in September, but there is much to be done to prepare for the space for the new normal of physical distancing and amplified hygiene. Without the proper preparation, we will not be able to open our doors when the Department of Health starts to allow childcare providers to do so. And while we are advocating for a bailout for early childcare providers, we cannot wait for that to happen to start planning for our future! We need YOUR HELP to raise the following: 

 

1.     $30,000-$40,000 for renovations. Specifically to renovate the bathrooms currently on site and install handwashing/sanitizing stations beyond the bathrooms.



2.     $10,000 to upgrade technology and IT support. Even once things open, it is more likely than not that there will need to be a remote learning component to our program--whether it be for a staggered schedule with students switching between in-person and remote learning or for students who for health reasons cannot attend in-person classes at all. Moreover, if the state requires another shut down at any point in the school year, we will need to return to a full-on remote learning mode. While we made it from March thru June with our current equipment, an upgrade is sorely needed so that our teachers have what they need to focus on the substance of remote learning—not avoidable technology woes. Specifically, we need new large-monitor computers for each classroom as well as laptops that teachers can use when teaching from home.


3.     $10,000-$15,000 for PPE and cleaning supplies.  If you’ve spent any time with children between the ages of 2 and 5, you know that they are prone to make all sorts of messes. Let’s just say that we anticipate needing more PPE and cleaning supplies than other types of establishments that cater primarily to adults. It is already a challenge determining where to source these materials from and we need to start purchasing a significant amount now to be well prepared come September.

There are many ways to help. Interested in matching donations up to a certain amount? Know a company that might be willing to donate the technology we need to upgrade? Know of a grant opportunity for which Little Sun People is eligible? Know a potential source of PPE? Interested in board or committee service? Please reach out to us at lspbod@gmail.com to let us know.


Your financial support of Little Sun People is critical and greatly appreciated in this moment. Whether you’re an individual donor or a business looking to give back, no donation is too small.

With gratitude,

Mama Fela & LSP Board of Directors

__________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Beloved Little Sun People Community,

Little Sun People (LSP) has not been immune from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that has its grip on the world.  We have had to temporarily shut our doors since March 16 to keep our LSP families and staff safe

This closure and its aftermath is taking an unimaginable financial toll on Little Sun People. Unlike many of the big independent schools in Brooklyn with large endowments,  the funding that we primarily rely on to keep our doors open comes from student tuitionBut nevertheless, LSP persists! Our educators have been able to adapt quickly, offering our families a web-based video-conference class every morning and afternoon.  Our students have been cooking, painting, reading, writing, and dancing together! We are a tight-knit community committed to educating our children in the best of times and the worst of times.


We need YOU to help us get through this so that when it is safe for us to reopen, we are ready to do so.


It is also crucial that we are able to physically open our doors again to provide our highly sought after Cultural Explorers Summer Program and begin a new school year in the fall, should it be deemed safe to do so. Ensuring our building expenses remain current will position us well to be able to do so without delay. No one could have imagined the impact Covid-19 would take on our collective mental, emotional, physical and financial well-being. In this "new normal" what will gathering together again look like? Implementing social distancing in a space we have already outgrown and PPE for staff and students where required are just a few items that all have associated costs that we are now factoring into an already wounded budget.


Approval for the Payroll Protection Program is some much needed good news, but the battle for Little Sun People (LSP) to survive Covid-19 is far from over.


No donation is too small and your support is needed now more than ever. Thank you for pulling together with us as we attempt to provide some sense of normalcy for our little sun people during these unprecedented times.


Harambee,

Mama Fela & LSP Board of Directors


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Little Sun People, Inc. (LSP) is a non-profit early childhood education center that provides culturally responsive education to preschool learners in Brooklyn. Founded by Fela Barclift (Mama Fela) 40 years ago, LSP has brought to life the contributions and experience of people of African descent in the context of an academically rigorous curriculum that prepares our students holistically for what lies ahead in their varied academic and life journeys. This combination is precisely what makes an LSP education a high-quality early childhood program.

It is no secret that a high-quality early childhood educational experience has a profound impact on a child’s development—cognitive, health, emotional, and otherwise. This is reflected in the fact that LSP has a waiting list that, year after year, far exceeds the 56 slots available at our current location.

As a community, we have long outgrown our current space of 4,250 square feet, making it impossible to welcome more preschoolers to our LSP family.  So, we are calling on the communities that believe in and support LSP to bring us closer to realizing our expansion goals!

Here’s how you can help: The LSP365 campaign is an opportunity for YOU to support LSP with $365 for a year. That amounts to one dollar ($1) a day, approximately $30 a month. This will position LSP to maintain operational excellence while moving to a state-of-the-art facility.

Participation in giving at any level is the most important way you can express your support for Little Sun People! No amount is too small. LSP is the school it is today because of the support of families, alumni, and friends of the school.


What's next for Little Sun People?

June 30, 2020


Dear LSP Family & Friends,

 

We hope this message finds you well during what are truly unprecedented times. In the recent words of freedom fighter Angela Davis, “This is an extraordinary moment which has brought together a whole number of issues.”

Since closing its physical doors on March 16, Little Sun People has made it thus far with support from a diverse cross-section of family and friends from across the country—including YOU— and we are eternally grateful. With your support, whether it was financial or pounding the pavement to make sure that Little Sun People had access to Payroll Protection Program funding, we were able to continue a remote learning program, pay our teaching staff for their work through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, and have a mini-graduation for our class of 2020. And in the midst of the ongoing crises, LSP has joined the Brooklyn Coalition of Early Childhood Programs to advocate for a serious investment in early childhood education in our beloved borough.


As a non-profit institution, we have applied for and been rejected from several grant funding opportunities and also are not eligible for every small business funding opportunity. So your support of the LSP365 Campaign has lifted us up in such a meaningful way. We are grateful for a grant of $5,000 from the Office of NYC Councilmember Robert Cornegy and we continue to apply for funding opportunities for which we meet eligibility criteria. And we are especially pleased to have received Brooklyn Tea’s First Annual Community Leadership Award, which also came with a financial award! We’ve also received generous financial gifts from our friends at Maple Street School, and for that we are thankful!

 

While we had hoped to have some sort of in-school experience starting in July, it just cannot happen yet. Little Sun People is governed by the New York City Department of Health and, like all other private childcare providers not currently open for children of essential workers, has been ordered to keep its physical doors closed until further notice. We are saddened that we cannot offer our hallmark summer program: Cultural Explorers Camp. But we are proud to say that we will offer a hybrid mini-camp: a 4-day-a-week program with two days of virtual mornings and two days of park meet up mornings in a designated grassy meadow. Spots are limited, but for more information please contact us at info@littlesunpeople.com.


We anticipate being able to open our physical location in September, but there is much to be done to prepare for the space for the new normal of physical distancing and amplified hygiene. Without the proper preparation, we will not be able to open our doors when the Department of Health starts to allow childcare providers to do so. And while we are advocating for a bailout for early childcare providers, we cannot wait for that to happen to start planning for our future! We need YOUR HELP to raise the following:

 

1.     $30,000-$40,000 to renovate the bathrooms currently on site and install handwashing/sanitizing stations beyond the bathrooms.

2.     $10,000 to upgrade technology and IT support. Even once things open, it is more likely than not that there will need to be a remote learning component to our program--whether it be for a staggered schedule with students switching between in-person and remote learning or for students who for health reasons cannot attend in-person classes at all. Moreover, if the state requires another shut down at any point in the school year, we will need to return to a full-on remote learning mode. While we made it from March thru June with our current equipment, an upgrade is sorely needed so that our teachers have what they need to focus on the substance of remote learning—not avoidable technology woes. Specifically, we need new large-monitor computers for each classroom as well as laptops that teachers can use when teaching from home.

3.     $10,000-$15,000 for Personal Protective Equipment and cleaning supplies.  If you’ve spent any time with children between the ages of 2 and 5, you know that they are prone to make all sorts of messes. Let’s just say that we anticipate needing more PPE and cleaning supplies than other types of establishments that cater primarily to adults. It is already a challenge determining where to source these materials from and we need to start purchasing a significant amount now to be well prepared come September.

 

 

There are many ways to help. Interested in matching donations up to a certain amount? Know a company that might be willing to donate the technology we need to upgrade? Know of a grant opportunity for which Little Sun People is eligible? Know a potential source of PPE? Interested in board or committee service? Please reach out to us at lspbod@gmail.com to let us know.



Your financial support of Little Sun People is critical and greatly appreciated in this moment. Whether you’re an individual donor or a business looking to rise to the occasion like Brooklyn Tea, no donation is too small. Donate today at https://www.givegab.com/campaigns/LSP365 and please spread the word.

 

With gratitude,

Mama Fela & LSP Board of Directors

 

 

 

Here’s a word from Brooklyn Tea’s owners:



Brooklyn Tea is centered on community and we simply are nothing without it. With the recent outpouring of support from causes such as #blacklivesmatter and #supportblackownedbusiness, we have received more orders in 1 week than we ever imagined making in a year. With this blessing, the first question to answer was "Who do we give it to?"

Little Sun People has been with us since we opened our doors. Many parents and teachers are loyal and loving customers who continue to come through our doors and support just because they want to see our black business survive and thrive. So, we want the same for Little Sun People, an institution that has dedicated so much time and energy to helping children of color be seen, understood, and celebrated.

 

Much love,

 

Jamila & Ali

 

Keep LSP Shining Beyond June 2020!

May 24, 2020

Little Sun People Gives Thanks & Plans For the Future...By Any Means Necessary!


Once again LSP Parent Alum, DJ Jamed put on an amazing live set on Instagram (@jahmedicine) to help raise funds for Little Sun People! The sun was shining and we were grooving! Congratulations to our trivia winners!

We’re at a critical juncture in our fundraising efforts. Because of your support thus far, we’ve raised just over 40% of our overall fundraising goal. The Payroll Protection Program was much needed and will help us wrap up the academic year next month. But as we approach the summer with families still dealing with the financial fallout of the pandemic, donations are the way for us to keep our LSP boat afloat during this storm!

If 100 supporters donated $40 today, we’d reach 50% of our overall fundraising goal at this critical juncture. No donation is too small and we encourage you to spread the word to others who may be looking for ways to support community-based institutions like ours survive thru and beyond the pandemic.

LSP’s work is essential and with your continued support, it will continue for the next generation of Little Sun People.


With gratitude,

Mama Fela & LSP Board of Directors

POSTPONED:Celebrating Malcolm X's Birthday- LSP style! Sunday May 17 @ 3pm

May 16, 2020

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are rescheduling Sunday School with DJ Jahmed! Stay tuned for a new date soon .


—-

"See" you on the dance floor as we dance our way to hitting 50% of our overall fundraising goal!!!

So Much To Celebrate! So Much More To Do!

May 4, 2020

 Dear Little Sun People Community,


Little Sun People (LSP) extends a huge thanks to all who reached out to our elected officials to help ensure LSP is better positioned to receive the federal funding allocated to support small businesses financially during the Covid-19 pandemic. We have already heard back from our banking partners and LSP has been approved for the current round of the  Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)! This will help tide us over through the end of the current academic year and we are eternally grateful for your support in helping make this happen!


Although our building remains closed, school is very much open with our team working harder than ever to continue online learning with our students. Maintaining payroll and expenses to maintain occupancy in our current space (specifically monthly rent) costs Little Sun People (LSP) $62,000 per month. It is critically important we ensure our teachers and staff remain compensated during this tremendously difficult time but also is one of the stipulations of LSP remaining eligible for federal funding through the PPP as well as other funding opportunities for which we are applying.


It is also crucial that we are able to physically open our doors again to provide our highly sought after Cultural Explorers Summer Program and begin a new school year in the fall, should it be deemed safe to do so. Ensuring our building expenses remain current will position us well to be able to do so without delay. No one could have imagined the impact Covid-19 would take on our collective mental, emotional, physical and financial well-being. In this "new normal" what will gathering together again look like? Implementing social distancing in a space we have already outgrown and PPE for staff and students where required are just a few items that all have associated costs that we are now factoring into an already wounded budget.


This is why your support of our LSP365 campaign is so critical in this moment. We've already been able to raise a little over $15,000 from just 100 donors! Contributions range from $5 to $5,000! 

And we are excited to be participating in #GivingTuesdayNow on TuesdayMay 5 through the #BrooklynGives for COVID-19 Relief Campaign Our goal is to raise $5,000 through this particular effort. With 100 supporters, donating $50, we can quickly reach our goal! And a generous supporter will match the first $1,000 in donations!!  

So please consider giving us a jumpstart on reaching our #GivingTuesdayNow goal by donating here OR have some fun in setting up your own fundraiser on behalf of LSP today! Check out these very easy steps below.


For all who have already generously donated we cannot thank you enough for doing so and helping us continue this very important work with our Little Sun People students and families during this incredibly difficult time.


With gratitude and appreciation,

Fela Barclift "Mama Fela" & LSP Board of Directors

Dance with LSP at "Sunday School- Session 1"- Instagram Live DJ Set with DJ Jamed

April 4, 2020

Thank you to our generous supporters! Your donations- no matter the amount - have been a light in such a dark time as there is still so much uncertainty about when we will be able to re-open our doors. We had to postpone our annual auction, but we're still partying this weekend!

Join us tomorrow, Sunday April 5 for Sunday School-Session 1, hosted by Bed-Stuy's own (and parent of LSP Alumna) DJ Jamed! We'll be jammin' with him on his Instagram Live Feed @jahmedicine starting at 3pm!  All are welcome. Bring the entire family and your friends! "See" you on the dance floor!



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About the Organization

Little Sun People, Inc.

For 40 years, Little Sun People, Inc. (LSP) has been providing a culturally-responsive education to preschool learners in Brooklyn. LSP is a unique community childcare center founded in 1980 by Fela Barclift (“Mama Fela”), mother of four and lifetime resident of the Bedford-Stuyvesant community. Like all parents, Mama Fela wanted the very best for her children. So, when it came time for her eldest to start preschool, finding a setting that was academically enriching while fostering a sense of pride and confidence proved to be a difficult task. It was at that moment the vision for LSP began to emerge. Necessity being the mother of invention, Mama Fela redesigned one floor of her Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone and began to advertise her small, in-home family daycare program.

Fueled with the desire to impact the lives and fate of her own children but also the children in her community, it didn't take very long for Mama Fela to discover that she had found her life's work. Mama Fela quickly realized from the responses of the children and their parents that her program design and...

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