Today, Hume Center is designed to not only provide that safe and nurturing environment which all children need but also to expand the horizons of preschool aged students giving them the experiences often lacking in low income homes, instilling fundamental academic skills that will allow them to succeed in school and creating responsible citizens who will contribute to the future of our community, our country and the world.
Our core curriculum emphasizes social and emotional development, acquisition and enhancement of basic learning skills as well as maintenance of a healthy lifestyle and physical activity– all attained through interesting and stimulating play. We will also be incorporating extensive classroom usage of technology into the learning plan beginning in January, 2008. The center will be using Creative Curriculum.net beginning in the new semester.
Hume’s mission has always been to provide quality preschool educational opportunities for minority and inner city children regardless of parental income. Since 1926, Hume has been a member of the United Way (then called Community Chest). Our affiliation with United Way provided the support to allow the Center to place its fees for services on a sliding scale based on ability to pay. Because Hume has not been open since August, 2005 due to severe damage from Hurricane Katrina, United Way was unable to fund the Center at all during the most recent grant cycle. In addition, the demand for assistance in the New Orleans area has grown greatly since the Hurricane and United Way’s funds collected in this region have been reduced greatly.. Hence, we cannot continue to rely on United Way support in the same manner and at the same level as we have in the past. In fact, our United Way support for this grant cycle is minimal.
Central Congregational United Church of Christ with whom Hume shares a building has made the restoration of the Center its priority. The Center was flooded and received heavy damage from mold. It had to be gutted and completely redone with new wiring, air conditioning and fixtures. Volunteers contributed much of the initial work to complete this task and Central hired a contractor to complete the task. Unfortunately, the Church’s membership has diminished after the storm and its resources have largely been exhausted. While in good shape physically (though not complete), mostly due to the monies expended on the building repair by the Church and the kindness of volunteers too numerous to mention from all over the country, Hume is in desperate need of operating funds to allow it to compensate staff, pay utilities and other expenses, as well as to complete final minor repairs to the Center which were left undone by our contractor.
To effectively continue our mission, we will find it necessary to rely increasingly on ourselves, our alumni, friends and supporters to allow Hume Center to continue its vital work. We firmly believe that Hume Center is an entity worth saving. It has offered a unique venue to the New Orleans community for almost 100 years for children from all segments of the city without regard to race, color, religious or national origin. Although Hume accepts students receiving state child care assistance, this financial help only applies to the poorest families and does not reach many parents who cannot afford the full cost of quality preschool education. Previously, Hume was able to offer a sliding fee scale depending on income level and scholarships to deserving families. However, our present financial situation does not allow us to continue that practice. Children are our most important resource. They deserve our very best efforts. We want to ensure that Hume can continue to lead the way in preserving and enhancing educational opportunities for young children. We desperately want to be able to serve all children desiring to attend Hume. This remains our goal and drives our future planning.