10,000 signatures reached
To: Columbia University
Save The Red Balloon Preschool in Harlem
We are urging Columbia University to renew the lease of the Red Balloon preschool in Harlem. Red Balloon is a non-profit, community-based preschool which was started to serve working families in the Harlem/Morningside Heights neighborhoods in 1972 to address a lack of affordable, high-quality childcare in the area. This is a problem that still persists, and Harlem was recently named a child care desert by the NYS Division of Child Care Services.
We are asking Columbia to renew our lease so we can continue to serve families for years to come. This goes to the heart of our ability to care for our families, sustain careers, and be part of a school that aligns with our values in the community in which we live and work.
Why is this important?
At Red Balloon, we strive to serve any and every family that wants to join our community. We do not turn children away based on factors such as disability status or neurotypical development. We serve an economically and ethnically diverse community; we serve the families of immigrants and those new to New York or the United States. Among our community, Polish, Spanish, Mandarin, French, Italian, Hebrew and Hindi are some of the languages spoken at home. We serve the families of graduate students, adjunct professors, essential workers, rank-and-file Columbia staff and members of the Harlem and Morningside Heights communities. We are urging Columbia to extend our lease and let Red Balloon continue its mission to educate children and support working families.