Donate Learn Now
Providing stepping stones to create success through education for children and families who have limited opportunities.

Long-lasting effects of quality early education…

An interesting retrospective study done by Chris Herbst in 2013, was recently reported by (via NIEER), about the nearly Universal Childcare instituted in the US from 1940-1946 (known as the Lanham Act) to allow more women to enter the workforce during WWII.  The study examined, among other things, long-term, long-lasting effects of early childhood care for the young individuals in the care of those programs over the next 30-40 years through census analysis.  Herbst writes: “previous work finds that economically disadvantaged children—as defined by family income or parental cognitive ability—generally capture moderate to large benefits from exposure to early childhood programs, while outcomes for their more advantaged peers are either not affected or even adversely affected” and concludes, “…the Lanham Act had sizeable positive effects on a large number of long-run outcomes related to educational attainment, family formation, and labor market participation. Furthermore, the effects persisted throughout adulthood.” He goes on to note that this effect is most noticeably positive for economically disadvantaged children.  Once again, They talk about it— we do it!

Best Wishes!

Pancakes at Mimi's

Celebrating two-year SSF Internship

Congratulations to intern, Kevin, who finished his two-year internship with A Stepping Stone Foundation in June.  It was a pleasure to work with you, Kevin! We wish you best wishes on the new job hunt and as you continue your college education!


They talk about it; we DO it!

There are many hot topics regarding early childhood.  Most recently, I read:

“A high quality early education experience depends on a high-quality workforce of early educators. How we value and support those early educators as a nation – through access to higher education, professional development and commensurate compensation – has direct implications on their ability to do their difficult and important job well.”  DHHS, Dept Ed, United States publication June 2016,High-Quality Early Learning Settings Depend on a High-Quality Workforce.

You will be happy to know that we pay our lead teachers the same salary as a regular certificated teacher K-12.  This is well above the Arizona State average for preschool teaching staff. See, and that our teachers regularly participate in continuing education and professional development. Our program is only as good as our teachers!


July 5 Whole Heart Update-$35,750.00

I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th of July! Once again we cannot thank you all enough for your support of our children and families–most recently demonstrated by a phenomenal $35,750.00 response to our Whole Heart Appeal!

Happy Independence Day

Whole-Heart Day Four

Thank you! As of today, We have collected $23,775 in donations and pledges for our Whole Heart Campaign. Please pass the word! We still have almost $20,000 to go to meet our goal.Whether it’s one big donation or 200 little ones, we can do it for the kids!


Whole Heart Appeal to date: $2,675 in donations the last two days bringing the whole appeal total to: $21,675! Keep those donations rolling in!


Whole-Heart Campaign

$20,025! Thank you to all who have already responded to our appeal to raise at least $41,500 for our children and families by June 30.  To recap, we have $19,000 in lead gifts already committed; an additional $1,025 has come in as of the writing of this update for a total of $20,025 pledged or in hand.  THANK YOU! Watch for an update tomorrow.


Whole Heart Giving

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Teresa

Give Generously

I am constantly moved by the generosity and love you show our children and their families through your support.  I work hard not to take that for granted.  This month, I appeal to your WHOLE HEART by asking you to help us continue providing preschool and family literacy to Arizona children and their families.

Before starting our WHOLE HEART Campaign, I approached three of our donors and the Stepping Stone Board.  I asked them to help us launch this effort with their own generous donations which I would then use to challenge all our wonderful friends to help us raise a total of $41,500 before the end of the month.  Those donors have committed a total of $19,000, which will be used to match EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR from our 300 regular donors, up to that amount. We are deeply grateful to our lead donors who forged this challenge!

We challenge you to surprise those major donors to not only meet the challenge, but to help us raise even more!!!

This program year, we turned down a grant of $41,500 because it could have jeopardized the safety and well-being of some of our immigrant families.  We did this after consulting with our board and the parents of our students to be certain we weren’t overreacting to a condition of the grant.  This decision was a difficult one, but as Mohammad Ali was known to have said: “It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself”.

Well, we believe in you.  It took faith and humility to decline that much funding, knowing we would have to search to replace that money so we could serve the children and parents who attend our program at Westwood.  It took WHOLE HEARTS to forge ahead and prepare the children during this past school year.

Please consider a one-time special gift to help us reach our $41,500 goal.  Or help us shatter that goal! 

Every gift is needed and honored.  A donation of $25 may seem small, but can provide one day of preschool for one child.  We know many of you find yourselves in a position to make larger donations so please look deep into your WHOLE HEART as you provide support.  Please give generously so we can accomplish our goal.  Beginning June 20th, please visit our Facebook page and website blog for updates on the WHOLE HEART campaign.  With just one donation of $20,000 we would complete the challenge.  Four donations of $5,000, 25 donations of $1,000, 50 donations of $500 and so forth would also help us reach that goal.  It will take all of you making some sort of response for us to ultimately be successful. Please give generously!

Questions? Call me at the office: 602-843-8281

I thank you in advance,


Cindy Gattorna, Executive Director

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth”.   Mohammad Ali

Thank You Thursday, Thank You Season for Sharing

Season for Sharing

A Stepping Stone is a proud Season for Sharing Partner

A very special thank you to Season for Sharing for their generous grant that will help the parents and children of A Stepping Stone reach success through quality education. As some of you may know, Season for Sharing is a wonderful campaign through the Arizona Republic that helps local nonprofits achieve their mission by providing some very useful grants to organizations with caring values. We are so honored to be one of the recipients! This grant will be very helpful in providing tuition free preschool to our three- and four-year-olds as well as education to their families. Once again, we thank Season for Sharing for helping us be one step closer to breaking the cycles of illiteracy.

Raising A Reader

A Stepping Stone’s families are also in week 3 of the Raising A Reader program thanks to funding from Arizona’s First Things First and Southwest Human Development. Raising A Reader is a program that teaches parents the importance of early childhood literacy. For more information please visit Southwest Human Development’s site: