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Getting to Acceptance: Closing Hopkins Early Learning Center

by Jamie Bonczyk, Kristen Wheeler Highland and Roz Zuest
March/April 2021
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/getting-to-acceptance-closing-hopkins-early-learning-center/5025876/

*Photos can be found in the pdf version of this article.

On December 18, 2020, Hopkins Early Learning Center in Hopkins Minnesota, closed its doors to children and families after serving the community for 39 years. This is the story of our program closing. We know there are hundreds of other stories in our field that are no less gut-wrenching. When we share our stories with each other, we find connection through our shared experiences, especially during this time when we must keep our physical distance and can feel so isolated.

HELC took back-to-back blows in 2020: the non-renewal of our long-standing lease agreement and the devastation of COVID-19. Despite months of hard work fueled by a concoction of optimism and determination, it became clear that it was time to concede. In September of 2020, our board of directors acknowledged that every avenue with the potential to lead toward a viable resolution had turned out to be a dead end. 

The Decision to Dissolve: Closing Does Not Mean Abandoning

Arriving at the decision to close felt like surrendering to an invisible adversary, a sequence of events outside of our influence that cut us off at the knees. We took solace in knowing that while ...

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