If you live in the Snoqualmie Valley and have children, chances are you know about Encompass and its long-standing in the community. Most people think of Encompass as just preschool, when in actuality, it is so much more. The name says it all. Encompass: Children, Families, Community.
Encompass started some 45 years ago by local women who wanted to stop traveling into Seattle for their children’s therapy. With some state funding, Children’s Services of Sno-Valley continued as an in-home therapy service for children birth to 3 years old.
Over the years, it continued to expand, keeping pace with the demands of the Snoqualmie Valley. In 1996 Encompass opened its Main Campus on the western edge of North Bend. The building was the end result of a historic 3-year capital fundraising campaign. It was designed for kids and was built for preschool classes – classrooms that feel like home. Encompass preschool is only one of four nationally accredited preschool programs on the Eastside. The integrated tuition-based and state funded classes boast long waiting lists for their 100 yearly slots.
In 2005 a name change occurred and Children’s Services of Sno-Valley became Encompass; a name born out of a brainstorming session, when a committee member commented that they wished they could think a name that “encompassed” all they do. The valley’s population explosion over the past 15 years has kept the organization on its programming toes.
Encompass is a large provider of invaluable local pediatric therapy services. In 2008, it expanded its pediatric services to children between birth and 18 years old. The therapy space is housed in the new Encompass Downtown North Bend location. The additional space allowed Encompass to greatly expand its Pediatric Therapy program to include more children, more staff, a large therapy room as well as smaller one-on-one therapy rooms where parents can observe in the room or through a viewing window. These services include social skills groups, speech therapy and large and small motor skills therapy.
Encompass has also served Issaquah and Sammamish for over a generation. In an effort to gain more presence in that community, it opened Encompass Issaquah in Issaquah Highland’s Blakely Hall last year. It also hosts fundraisers in Issaquah’s Pickering Barn, including next month’s SipFest wine event.
I don’t think there is a way to fully capture the importance of Encompass with words. It beholds a special trickle down effect throughout all corners of the valley. It isn’t just a preschool. It is truly a community foundation – adding strength to the children and families within it. Encompass is about making parents stronger through important parenting classes, including group and specialized one-on-one work. It’s about teaching a parent to get down on the carpet with their toddler and incorporate reading into everyday life. It’s about preschool classes that produce successful elementary schoolers. It’s about working together to help families in need, whether through state-funded educational programs or individual clothing and resource needs. All facets of Encompass work together to seamlessly create and strengthen the inter-twined lives that form the Snoqualmie Valley community. For years Encompass has quietly fostered community growth – one class, teacher, therapist, volunteer, support group and family activity at a time. They just do – without asking for praise.
None of Encompass important work and accomplishments would be possible without fundraising and volunteers. Approximately one-third of its yearly operating budget comes from fundraisers and donations. One such important fundraiser, The Dream With Me Spring Gala, is happening Saturday, April 21st at the The Golf Course at Newcastle. It’s a wine tasting, dinner and auction event with spectacular views as the backdrop. For more information on the Dream With Me Spring Gala, including ticket purchases, please visit Encompass online.
In addition, Encompass Volunteer Coordinator, Michelle McCormick is still looking for about 20-30 volunteers for the event. Volunteers are needed as early as 4:30PM for guest and coat check-ins. They are also needed from 6:30 -10:30PM to serve as runners, item pick-up coordinators, data entry/check out coordinators and spotters. Volunteers must be 21 due to the nature of the event and dress in classy, business attire – and wear comfortable shoes. Interested volunteers can email Michelle for more information and/or to schedule a time slot.
Last year Encompass helped 999 children reach developmental milestones for optimal school success, 313 parents enrich their parenting skills and welcomed 4,336 participants through social events, support groups and family enrichment activities. Thank you Encompass.