As our region observes the fifth anniversary of the tornado that struck our region on June 1, 2011, I want take a moment to reflect upon the events that day, and how proud I am of how far Square One has come.

As many of you know, Square One was among thousands affected by this natural disaster. When word of the oncoming tornado came that fateful afternoon, our staff pulled together and comforted and protected the children and one another  from what could have been a far greater tragedy for any one of us. For that, I could not be more proud nor more grateful.

Yes, we lost buildings, vans and cars. Yes, we lost many of our belongings. Yes, we are still working diligently to recover from the losses suffered that day.

But what we gained from that is far more important. Five years later, our commitment to this community has never been greater. Our perseverance has enabled us to not only continue to serve the children and families who rely on us for programs and services, but to grow as an organization, working harder than ever to meet the evolving needs of our families. 

Today, Square One provides early learning and school-age programs to nearly 1,000 children each day and offers an array of programs designed to support parents as they work to overcome the significant challenges in their lives. The large majority of Square One families are coming from situations involving poverty, homelessness, food insecurity, incarceration, substance abuse, domestic violence, and other significant issues that may inhibit their ability to provide a stable, nurturing family and a quality early learning experience for their children, if the proper services are not made available to them. Our Square One children and families drive us to do more each and every day.

I am so proud to be a part of this work and wish to thank our staff, board, donors, volunteers and families for continuing to believe in the critical importance of our work and doing everything possible to advance our mission.


Joan Kagan
President & CEO