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Governor Polis Visits Fisher Early Learning Center at DU

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Sarah Satterwhite

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Jared Polis in early learning classroom with students

Colorado Governor Jared Polis visited Fisher Early Learning Center, part of the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education, earlier this month. He spent time with the children and teachers of two preschool classrooms as part of a state-wide tour of preschools in celebration of the state’s first year of offering universal preschool for every child. 

“Universal preschool unlocks the opportunity for every family to send their child to preschool,” says Polis. “Because the voters of Colorado approved a half-day of universal preschool, 43% more families are participating in preschool compared to last year. We’ve removed cost as a barrier so every family can experience this universal building block.” 

The Fisher Early Learning Center has been a landmark on the DU campus since 2000. Established by the visionary generosity of Donne and Sue Fisher, it offers a unique preschool program that serves infants through pre-kindergarten. Serving approximately 200 students annually, 20% of whom have special needs, Fisher supports families and their young children through high-quality early childhood education; a mission and vision that promote justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion; and strong partnership with families and the community.  

Jared Polis in early learning classroom with students

The experience provided by the Fisher Early Learning Center is made possible by the highly qualified educators and staff who work alongside the Center’s distinguished Fisher Inclusion Team (FIT) specialists. The team includes an Early Interventionist, a Speech/Language Pathologist, an Occupational Therapist, a Physical Therapist, a Licensed Social Worker, University of Denver graduate students, and a coordinator. In addition, Fisher benefits from its collaboration with DU’s Morgridge College of Education as both a site for research and teaching graduate students. 

“Governor Polis’ commitment to universal Pre-K is a great service to the children and families in Colorado,” says Michelle Knight-Manuel, dean of Morgridge College of Education. “Research has shown that high quality pre-k programs, similar to the Fisher Early Learning Center that he visited today, have long term beneficial outcomes for children who attend them.”