Unveiling of the Anna Jo Garcia Haynes Early Learning Center

On Saturday, June 30, 2018, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, joined by city, state and educational leaders, dedicated one of Mile High Early Learning’s centers to lifetime civil rights activist, advocate for early childhood education, and founder of Mile High Early Learning, Anna Jo Garcia Haynes. The center, located at 2851 Tremont Street, is now called the Anna Jo Garcia Haynes Early Learning Center.

Anna Jo Garcia Haynes founded Mile High Early Learning, Denver’s oldest and largest provider of subsidized, quality early childhood care and education. She has served as president and president emeritus for over 35 years, and in 1965, spearheaded the efforts to bring the Head Start program to Denver. Anna Jo has been Denver’s driving force for early childhood care and education, spending her entire career, well over 50 years, providing visionary leadership to improve the lives of children and families across the state of Colorado. As a co-founder of the Colorado Children’s Campaign and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, she chaired both the Mayor’s and Governor’s Early Childhood Commissions, and was a pillar for the establishment of both the Colorado Preschool Program and the Denver Preschool Program.

“Anna Jo has been engaged as a champion activist for women and early childhood education for over 50 years and has led the efforts to campaign for city and state policies that promote and support the changing and diverse educational needs of our children,” Mayor Hancock said. “Her service and contributions made on behalf of our children have been invaluable, and there is no one more deserving of this dedication than Anna Jo.”

“When the banner fell to reveal my name, my heart swelled with pride and sheer joy,” said Anna Jo Garcia Haynes. “I saw a sea of smiling faces, and I knew they were saying, ‘job well done.’ I realized that the advocacy work I have accomplished with my coworkers and colleagues lives not only in the hearts of the children and their families at the center, but also in the hearts of the many people in our community who recognize the importance of ensuring quality care and education for Denver’s children and their families.”

“Anna Jo has devoted her life to guaranteeing that our most vulnerable children have what they need to thrive and grow,” said Dr. Pamela Harris, President and CEO of Mile High Early Learning. “We are gratified that we can commemorate her legacy by naming an early learning center in her honor.”

Anna Jo Garcia Haynes is a proud Denver native who grew up and still resides in the Five Points neighborhood where she started her career. Today, she continues to advocate for the education of the children in Denver and supports initiatives working to improve and develop systems that provide all children high-quality childcare and early educational opportunities.