Opportunity for Lafayette Square?

January 8, 2009
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Could losing three of four anchors in a year's time actually have a bright side for Lafayette Square Mall? Broker Clint Fultz thinks it might. The property has always been a "crazy quilt of ownership" in which many of the anchors owned their stores. The departure of Macy's, Sears and Steve & Barry's could give the owners, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., a chance to completely redevelop the property. "That's not a bad stretch of real estate by any stretch of the imagination," Fultz said. One challenge will be holding on to small tenants, many of which may have lease clauses that let them leave if anchors bolt.

The photo above (from retail blog Labelscar) shows a mall directory from the 1970s. The Sears is scheduled to close Jan. 11. Macy's (formerly L.S. Ayres) just announced plans to close (story is here). The Lazarus space now is home to the mall's lone remaining anchor, Burlington Coat Factory. Steve & Barry's was in the G.C. Murphy space. J.C. Penney left in 2004 and was recently replaced by Shoppers World. The Block's space is now a family-entertainment center called Xscape.

  • Hah! What a crock, tyhat side of town is a dump. Not even IKEA wood open up there.

    Maybe Ballard can turn it into a China Town, or maybe a Cricket Field! Garsh that wood be so darn cool! :lol:
  • Here is an interesting article on the subject of malls which would be cool if they did this at LSM:

  • That mall is now too big.
    They should consider demolishing the Sears and the old Lazarus spot where Burlington Coat Factory is and the old Murphy's spot where Steve and Berry's was and just move everything else to the south end of the mall. Burlington can go into the Macy's spot then the rest of the empty demolished space can be developed into out lot retail. The food court they have now is not going to be missed for awhile.
    Anybody else have any ideas?
  • That's a nice link Anne. Will never work at the Wessside tho.....
  • It would be nice to see a creative re-use of the site with some type of multi-use approach (including housing). This is being done across America as documented in the newly released book, Retrofitting Suburbia. I have a forthcoming blog review of that.

    The good news is that while the mall itself has struggled, the greater commercial district has retained relevance and has been reinvented by ethnic businesses, often Asian. I think this is a tangible sign of how immigration is good for the city.

    The problem is that there are many other declining suburban commercial zones in Marion County. It's a huge problem.
  • In a thread a while back someone suggested redeveloping it into an international marketplace. Given the diversity of that area I think that is something that could possibly work. The area already has a ton of east Asian, Indian, Mexican and other ethnic restaurants and markets, so why not build upon that?
    • I like the idea of the ethnic restaurants and shops but most of those tend to move into strip type of developments and do not build stand alone buildings which I think will work better on all that empty parking lot that is left. There are too many strip malls on the west side empty now look at Lafayette Place one whole section of that should be demolished.
    • That poster appropriately named Hooey is mean, all negative, and one bad speller....so there! How angry can one person be?

      As for the mall, if the new owners want to keep working on it, best of luck. Give it a go, but I don't see how they'd EVER fill in those traditional anchor department store spots. Who's left anyway? Sears continues to close stores, JCP is evolving into free-standing locations ala Target and Kohls.

      What other traditional, mid-level anchors remain besides Macy's, on the national landscape? Where there were Ayres, Blocks and Wassons at every large mall and shopping center in central Indiana, including Bloomington, Lafayette, Anderson, Kokomo, Muncie, and Richmond, now only 3 stores remain, all and only in Indy. Hardly an urban phenomenon.

      My advice for LSM, save and remake what's feasible, tear down the rest. Some of these posts are certainly on to something. The LS area's a melting pot of many cultures and socio-economic groups that may not necessarily appeal to high-volume, suburban-style retail. Also, traffic count, access and visibility at 38th/Lafayette/65 remains high.

      Sure the demographics have changed -- RETAILING has changed. Yes, the area has had its challenges and changes since LSM first opened, no doubt crime has been a problem in the past -- just as damaging, is perception. But this is hardly a wasteland -- just a changed landscape. What comes down, usually comes back up, just maybe not the same. It takes TLC, committment, and vision on several fronts.

      There is possibilty and opportunity in this region. And yes, some of those traditionally desirable demographics remain nearby: Eagle Creek, the new northwest side, even Butler-Tarkington. As I think of it, even in its better days, this was still a working class part of town.

      I say, on to whatever's next! Here's to ideas, innovation, and, yes, investment!
    • By the way....I love the illustration of the old LS map. Wonder how many of any of those stores, in any form or location, remain?

      Oh, and when I named all those old department stores with multi-locations across central Indiana, I left out Lazarus. At one time they were part of the mix until Lazarus bought Blocks, then the Ayres parent bought Lazarus, then Macy's what was left, until there was one big fish. Did I get that right?
    • I think an outlet mall would do well in that area. People are more than willing to drive all the way out to Edinburgh for a deal, so it would bring new customers to the area. An outlet mall attracts people of all demographics as well, thus helping to rid the area of its bad stigma that has accrued over the years.
    • May Company bought L.S. Ayres, Lazarus was purchased by Federated Department stores. Federated bought May and now we have only Macy's.
      There are still some regional players out there.......Von Maur (sp?) being one of them.
    • Lazarus was the root of Federated and was always part of it. Lazarus was the big department store in Columbus, and another was the big department store in Cincinnati, and they merged way, way back in the middle of the last century and put their HQ in Cincy. Then over a 40-year period, Federated gobbled up half the rest of the department stores in the US, went broke (choked on too much debt), came out of BK lean and mean, and recently converted every mid-line dept. store they owned to Macy's.
    • There is just too darned much retail around W. 38th. Creative redevelopment of the whole area is needed. I nominate Clint Fultz, the broker/investor quoted in the article.
    • parkershade: sorry i hurt your feelings, mang.

      get real, 38th and lafayette is ghetto, so just let it be that! its not a black or white thing, ghetto comes in many shapes and sizes and colors. i say lets bring in an ikea!
    • Hooey should change his handle to Full of Baloney. Empty and never worth much of anything.
    • ikea places stores where they, and only they want them. We can't just bring one in. What is happening to Lafayette and Washington Squares will eventually happen to the others, give it time. Just look at the map of LS. The days of having 14 shoe stores, 6 jewelrs, arcades, two or more book stores, two or more record/music stores ect... and all of this on top of what four or five dept. stores offer, has long since come and gone. To rejuvinate these areas and do it right, would take a complete teardown and redo of everything from streets and where they go, sidewalks, buildings and their placements, and incorporate more greenspace/small parks amongst the parking lots. These creations are a product of a way of life that has long since died, and is only being kept alive by life support. Let it go and create a shopping, dinning, entertainment complex's that fits the way we live in the 21st century and not the third quarter of the 20th.
    • I came up with the marketplace idea. I've been doing some research on other re-use big box buildings tht have turned into peddler malls and other similiar ideas. I did find one that took many of the ethnic restraunts in the area put them all in one location, and then created a market feel, like the one downtown, with certified food vendors of ethnic food and then a large open air shopping concept of ethnic ingredients, products, and artifacts. When I find the link again and other examples I will post it.

      Many people around the city go to Trader Joes, or Fresh Market for certain types of ethnic and international ingredients, why not make this a destination for that as well. Just a creative thought - better than more outlots and strip malls.
    • Observations:

      1. Indyone is correct on all fronts. But still, Ballardio could entice IKEA with 54000000 years free rent and abatements. The low rents in this city would eat it up. but that is far too easy for that d-bag to understand and exploit.

      2. Berwickguy: you crack me up. Maybe we should have a beer sometime and we could kiss and make up. sorry Tony George failed, I'll even buy the first round.

      3. This city has become a city of extremely low expectations. low expectations. Think about it. When is the last time anything exciting happened here, or when was the last time YOUR expectations of living in an NFL Class city were met? This city has failed on so many levels its not funny. Can we start with the condition of our roads?

      4. Its almost Friday. See you in Broiad Ripple for happy hour. :)
    • Anybody have any insights into how the indoor theme park is doing at LSM?

    • Thanks for the family tree on how all those department store names merged into one -- Macy's. I think I followed.

      The IKEA Idea? In your dreams! A nice dream, but they really spread out their stores, and with a new one in the Cincy suburbs, don't count on one here anytime soon.

      Indyone and others....good ideas, not sure if they'll fly, but it points to an obvious conclusion: why bother saving the bulk of that mostly-empty hulk called LSM? Whatever the plans, I can't imagine they won't include a wrecking ball.
    • Carson Pirie Scott has a chance to advance in Indianapolis, they once were looking at a location across from Keystone Crossing. I think Macy's overplayed it's hand here originally there were going to keep some LS Ayres brands but have dropped all but maybe 2 or 3. Macy's is okay but they have no real competition now which is why it takes forever for merchandise to leave their shelves. They can take their time marking stuff down or the coupons they have are always 15%. At least Ayres used coupons that were 20% sometimes 25% so Macy's needs some competition now.
      If Carson's would consider Lafayette Square and Washington Square at least those two malls would have something unique about them. If Macy's ever left Glendale I think Carson's would be a good fit.
    • Crystal... More than likely Carsons will never position their stores in underperforming areas.
    • GoIndyGo: The indoor park Xscape has been a hit so far. They have been so busy that they have had to turn people away some nights. It has also been reported that they have booked an average of 35 birthday partys per weekend since opening
    • Low expectations huh...?

      tyhat side of town is a dump. Not even IKEA wood open up there, That’s a nice link Anne. Will never work at the Wessside tho,get real, 38th and lafayette is ghetto, so just let it be that,but that is far too easy for that d-bag to understand and exploit.

    • We were at Xscape last week not sure we are going back.

      My kids are 11 and 14 and many of the items seemed geared to lower ages. The biggest draw for my 14 year old was the go carts but the wait was too long and the track too short.

      The set-up is nice, but there was not enough staff cleaning tables. The idea of charging upfront and providing the buffet was good, but not when you have to bus your own table and there is not anywhere to put the dirty dishes from the party before you.

      They also had good video games but not enough of them. It was very hard to spend money because there were games to play but not available.

      One neat thing was the movie theater with tables / couchees and free films. They showed Get Small when we were there. It is great for the parents while older kids are out playing. The food was also not bad about average for buffet food.

      The mini bowling was cool, but very very crowded.
    • Maybe they could rebuild Xscape and make it bigger now that the space has become available. This always seems to happen they put something in a space that is too small because the bigger spaces are taken, it's a hit but the now space is too small and it will probably take too much money to move or expand it.
      They actually have the space in the northside parking lots to build a real entertainment center.
    • Maybe the city could buy and redevelop/remodel the mall into more city offices to free up some office space d'town. Even move the courts to the mall. Use some of the two story buildings to house courtrooms, etc. There would be plenty of free parking, easily accessible from 38th, Lafayette Rd and it would pump money into the area with workers eating at local restaurants. I've seen how it can help an area first hand as that happened in the little city I'm from and a Kroger closed in a shopping center and the whole shopping center started to go down. They city bought the entire shopping center and redeveloped it into a municiple city building with building permits offices, tax assessor, etc located there and the mayor and other things still d'town. Freed up lots of parking d'town also.

      This is pretty much what New Orleans did with New Orleans Centre after Lord and Taylor and Macy's closed in that d'town mall and if was shuttered and not going to reopen after Katrina.

      Even the little town I'm from took over an old shopping center that had a closed Kroger as the anchor and redeveloped it into a city municiple complex while still mainting the mayors office and other offices d'town.
    • Mark that idea might work then people could quit complaining about coming downtown for jury duty because of the parking and just maybe me and the other few hundred people who constantly get called to come every year or so could get a break. No seriously that is a good idea especially with all that parking space available.
      Good ideas people keep em coming.
    • That whole 38th Street/Lafayette Road/Georgetown Road area is a bit unorganized with the strip malls and other misc. stores. The corridor needs a re-design. As was previously mentioned, this is a highly traveled area and I believe people from downtown and driving through the area would shop there. But it has to find a niche. The Lafayette Square Mall area, much like Glendale, will need to reinvent itself. Somehow. It will never survive again as a traditional mall. I think it's still a good investement for someone with the brains and the money (and the stomach).
    • Why extract people from downtown to this particular area of town Mark? I do see your point, on easing the office crowding in downtown, but come on... the downtown office vacancy rate is high. What's the real benefit in pulling people out of downtown to work on the nothwestside? I think it's just best that way to keep business and people in downtown... because after all... downtown is the heartbeat of the city.
    • Mark I agree that's an interesting idea, as long as you're referring to municipal offices (particularly pertaining to law enforcement). With close to 18% vacancy in commercial office buildings, I don't think they are looking to free up space in Indy's downtown, and as a general rule, I'm more in favor of getting office jobs to concentrate there than to de-densify.

      With regards to the New Orleans Centre, it's been over a year since I lived there, but I used to work right next door to the building. Prior to Katrina it was already a dying mall, worse than Lafayette Square, with just a handful of major chains, one department store (Macy's--Lord and Taylor had already closed), and scattered services like passport photos and temp agencies and stuff. Pretty bleak.

      After Katrina, the 30-story building that rested on top of the New Orleans Centre in sat in disrepair with shattered windows for so long that it practically had to be condemned, and the owner out in Los Angeles was getting sued for negligence. The lower two levels--where the mall was--were the only ones in operation and I don't think they were city services--it was mostly a disaster relief unit, offering emergency medical services, with guards and a highly restricted entry. I hope things have changed there since then. At any rate, that building was still in downtown New Orleans--Lafayette Square is in what was in the 1960s considered the suburbs.

      Is there any section of 38th Street anymore that isn't economically distressed?
    • 3 good parts of 38th St.: the part that runs between IMA and Woodstock, the part through Crown Hill, and the part by the Fairgrounds. The first block east and west of Meridian is fair to middlin'.
    • Dustin,

      No where in my post did I say that I wanted commercial office space to be left empty. I was referring to the city-county building which is constantly in the news as being over crowded, people complaining about having to pay for parking, not being properly suited for todays challenges of screening people for weapons, etc. I simply said that I have seen old commercial shopping centers redeveloped into uses for city services. I'm not proposing that Chase leave their offices d'town.

      If the city is serious about helping this side of town, then why not show it by putting some government offices in the area. Where does it say that every city office has to be consolidated in one building. The parking is there, easy access to the interstate and I'm sure they could acquire the property at a reasonable cost compared to acquiring property d'town. They could put some courtrooms there...maybe family court? Traffic court? Move some of the offices that are for permits,licensing, etc to the area. I for one hate to have to pay to park when I have to run inside the city-county building to conduct that only takes about 15 minutes or so.

      I personally don't see retail as an option as the area has plenty of vacant areas in the numerous surrounding strip centers.

      Crystal, thanks for the positive note.

      As far as New Orleans, the city has no plans currently that I am aware of to repair/fix the old city building on Canal so most city services are slated to move into New Orleans Centre, yes I know that mall was struggling before Katrina and this turned out to be a great way to reuse an existing facility.
    • yes.
    • You are welcome Mark.
      I also think that the area is big enough to build a major post office depot since the one downtown sits an area right next to the new stadium and everyone seems to be clamoring for that land maybe they can move the main post office to the lafayette square area and they are still not that far from the airport
    • In my opinion a city should be developed from the center out, and that is where Indianapolis has failed. Typically developments start in an up and coming area. A little later a newer development is started and everyone flocks there because the new place is the “it” spot to go, and leave the older area to rot. It is this tendency that has left the older malls struggling for life. At one point the Loews theatre just outside LS was the busiest theatre in the state, despite the fact that it was competing with GC in the same mall and splitting product with them.

      In my opinion the MPO needs to put development restrictions on the outer counties to make sure there is not a mass exodus from center of the city like in Detroit and Cleveland.

      The idea from Anne’s link will work in the end because a rail platform for the NW line is planned for the mall area. The owners can sit comfortably on large piece of land and either sell or redevelop when the time is right.
      I am in favor of whatever the owners of LS want to do, and I have no doubt that they can restore LS to greatness. The area around the mall needed some out of the box thinking and investment in a time when everyone left our “ghetto” for dead.

      Da Hooey you are a sad man and you let your stupidity and racism blind you. The IBJ had an article not too long ago, about the time the redevelopment plans came out, about how the LS area had one of the lowest crime rates in the city despite the perception. There are some real ghettos in this country and 38th and Lafayette is not one of them. You complain about the roads and go on about Ballard. Ballard was only voted in because the tax payers didn’t have the stomach to pay extra to fix and reform a city with no sidewalks, no street lights, terrible water quality, disgraceful schools (33% grad rate), and roads that have only been patched since the 80s. Your close mindedness and elitist mentality disgust me. People like you are the reason why I wish to emigrate from this country.
    • That's cool Pat, to where are you and your husband planning to emigrate?

      And I agree on the fact that the 'tards in this town didn;t have the stomach to vote to fix up all that is wrong in Indy. Ballard is as much a victim in this as you and me? He looks like a total buffoon in the Mayor's Suit, and will logically go down as the worst Mayor in the history of our city.
    • Da Hooey, you may be right that Ballard will go down as the worst mayor in this cities history, but only because for the vast majority of the typical american public, they think he has the power to save the economy, bring in and create jobs during the worst economic downturn we have seen in OUR lives. But I can say, for the first time in 10 to 15 years I have actually seen my tax dollars being spent on my side of town repairing streets that were a complete disaster, along with the sidewalks some of which have never been touched since they were put in 30, 40 years ago, despite their severly deteriorated condition. Ballard may not be the best mayor but re electing Bart would have been the swan song for the West, South and East sides of this city.
    • I think the problem, whatever they do, would be getting people to actually go there. I sure as hell am not stepping foot in the Lafayette Square area anytime soon - and I know I'm not alone. :-(

      So far as Ballard is concerned, I don't think he's going to do anything good or bad for Indianapolis. I think he'll fail to go down in history at all! (Time will tell).
    • Macy's is closed until Wednesday while they do inventory to prepare for the liquidation sale.

      On another note the dim sum restaurant on Georgetown Road is now closed.
    • NDM, why dont you go back and reread your comments. What on earth are you saying? Ballard gets a pass because of what he has (in your opinion) inherited? Is this an excuse? A pre-emptive disclaimer to a failed administration?

      Your assertion that Bart did nothing but bad in his tenure is laughable. May I remind you of such projects as the new airport? ne central library? lucas Oil Stadium? Fall Creek Proper? The combined sewer overflow solution? This represented REAL progress in our community, the creation of thousands of jobs, and further, a feeling that Indianapolis was progressing. Perception is often the reality for most of us.

      Indy faces numerous challenges and every prior mayor had both achievements and setbacks. The claim that bart was bad for the city and Ballard has to clean up his mess is just plain stupid. But, Ballard could quit being a big baby and start leading - showing examples of progress and leading the city - if in just words and examples - out of this so called mess you have described. Where is he on Life Sciences? Where is he on the No-smoking anywhere legislation? Where is he on crime?

    • Quote: our assertion that Bart did nothing but “bad” in his tenure is laughable. May I remind you of such projects as the new airport? ne central library? lucas Oil Stadium?

      These projects are great for tourists to get a good impression of the city when they visit, but they don't really do anything for the everyday lives of the actual citizens. Do any of these 3 projects you named make the roads better, or decrease crime, or make the schools better?

      All these projects were going on while VIOLENT criminals were be released from jail due to overcrowding, and IPS kept falling further and further behind the suburban schools in funding and performance. Its 2009, and they still have schools with no Air Conditioning.
    • rockem, news flash: the mayor doesn't run the schools or the courts or the jails.

      I-70 got better right by the airport because of the new airport. All the streets around Lucas Oil got rebuilt (new paving, sidewalks, etc.)
      Bart rebuilt 38th St. completely, from the sewers underneath it all the way up. All the streets, sidewalks, and alleys in Fall Creek Place were redone. That was by far the worst city neighborhood in 2000, and it's one of the best now.

      The assertion that Bart did nothing but bad in his tenure IS laughable. The same will eventually be true of Ballard.
    • Wow I was looking at the list of stores that used to be in Lafayette Square and some of the chains have gone out of business but some of them closed up all their stores and are doing business on the internet or their products are carried by other stores now.

      Do you think that the internet hurts or helps local malls?

      Sometimes I see items on the website and then will go to the store because I do not want to deal with paying the extra fees to ship it.
    • Da Hooey. The projects you mention, the new airport. Bart rode the coat tails of what had been planned decades ago. The stadium. Yeah it is an impressive sight, but it didnt repave the roads or repair the sidewalks further out in marion county. The library, very nice, but I think it went beyond just Bart to have that built. Again it had been planned many many years ago. I find it odd you mention these projects and although they are impressive, you would be lying to yourself if you said he didnt ignore and neglect most of the county. If you dont agree, drive around, and not just by the airport, stadium, fall creek place or the library. Go out into the county and see everything, not just what is pleasing to your eye. We all can probobly agree downtown is darn impressive, but that is just a piece of the pie. As I said before, it is not up to Ballard to pump sunshine up our butts and promise of better things to come. Call it an excuse, or even enableing but when you INHERIT a mess, it takes time to clean up. And as for the combined sewer overflow, I seriously doubt Bart would have done anything at all if the government hadnt given a deadline to have that done. Anyway, have a good afternoon.
    • Inspiration: how about converting a couple of the big-box spaces into a jail and courtrooms? Malls = the new civic square, right?
    • NDM, you are so full of doublespeak. :lol: You simnply cannot have it both ways. You may not like Bart, but he was SOOOoooo much more capable than this mutt Ballard.

      It is common practice to claim everything good in economic development, so what is good for one is good for all - candidate and office holder wise. The fact that mayor Peterson - got those projects done - is to his credit. What will Ballard bring us? What is his Vision?
    • Da Hooey, perhaps you need to spend a week with me while I work. You will get to see first hand the complete neglect of the above spoken areas, west, south and east sides, during the Peterson administration. And remember, all I said in the begining was give Ballard a break, it didnt mean I love him. Anyway, back to the real discussion about Lafayette Square mall.
    • Oh I just love it when people get into heated discussions on here!

      The way I see it is that Bad and Good are two sides of a continuum. The vast majority of politicians are somewhere in the middle.

      One thing I'm afraid of with Indianapolis is what I like to call Midtown Blight (I haven't looked to see if anyone else uses this term). While there have been a lot of efforts to revitalize downtown, you can draw a circle between downtown and the outlying areas that is experiencing blight, which would include Lafayette Square. The thickness of this circle obviously varies greatly depending on the direction you go. Blight on the near north side varies from a few blocks to not at all, but blight on the west side varies from a few blocks to a few miles!

      I think for a lot of us long-time westsiders, Lafayette Square is a symbol for the blight the near-west side is experiencing. I believe that even if a developer is successful in revitalizing this space, it will have little impact on what is a pervasive consequence of unchecked urban sprawl, commonplace in many Midwestern cities.
    • ianeck, the popular term is first-ring suburbs, and there is lots written on it. The first suburban developments (postwar boom era) are now the slums or declining neighborhoods. Eagledale (south of Laf. Sq., for non-westsiders) is a poster child for this. So is Windsor Village, north of Raytheon on E. 21st.

      You're wrong about the Northside being spared blight: have you ever driven across E. 25th or E. 30th St., up MLK, up N. Keystone from I-70 to 52nd?
    • NDM, i would love to ride around with you on those other sides of town. :lol:

      then we could make a stop up here on the Northside and you can see it ain't no different. Where on earth did the N-side get any preferential treatment from Bart? Hell, Dean Road was until just this fall a COMPLETE mess with curbs sliding into ravines and yards all the way from 62nd up to 79th. And where the F do you think Bart lives? Here's a clue: along that route. I could go on and on about the horrid state of the streets and sidewalks in the city, INCLUDING the N-side, but you know that.

      speaking of spending a day with you, how about you spend some time with Mayor Ballard. Without giving the farm away, let me tell you that this guy is the laughingstock of Indy politics. Even his own cannot believe this guy. He cannot remember meeting people, alsways says the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong people, and just does not look or act the part of a big-city mayor by ANYONE'S standards. While I personally cannot stand Bob Grand and his gopher Loftus, at least these sharks can play politics and know where to go to get things done. Scott Newman is owed a sincere thumbs up by everyone in this city for stepping up to the plate to run the Police and Public Safety. You let me know if you need more on my perspective.

      I'm really scared for this city, Ballard is too dumb to think of any sort of Vision, and it will, ultimately, really cripple this city.

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    3. that it actually looked a lot like Sato v Franchitti @Houston. And judging from Dario's marble mouthed presentation providing "color", I'd say that he still suffers from his Dallara inflicted head injury._______Considering that the Formula E cars weren't going that quickly at that exact moment, that was impressive air time. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised, as Dallara is the only car builder that needs an FAA certification for their cars. But flying Dallaras aren't new. Just ask Dan Wheldon.

    4. Does anyone know how and where I can get involved and included?

    5. While the data supporting the success of educating our preschoolers is significant, the method of reaching this age group should be multi-faceted. Getting business involved in support of early childhood education is needed. But the ways for businesses to be involved are not just giving money to programs and services. Corporations and businesses educating their own workforce in the importance of sending a child to kindergarten prepared to learn is an alternative way that needs to be addressed. Helping parents prepare their children for school and be involved is a proven method for success. However, many parents are not sure how to help their children. The public is often led to think that preschool education happens only in schools, daycare, or learning centers but parents and other family members along with pediatricians, librarians, museums, etc. are valuable resources in educating our youngsters. When parents are informed through work lunch hour workshops in educating a young child, website exposure to exceptional teaching ideas that illustrate how to encourage learning for fun, media input, and directed community focus on early childhood that is when a difference will be seen. As a society we all need to look outside the normal paths of educating and reaching preschoolers. It is when methods of involving the most important adult in a child's life - a parent, that real success in educating our future workers will occur. The website www.ifnotyouwho.org is free and illustrates activities that are research-based, easy to follow and fun! Businesses should be encouraging their workers to tackle this issue and this website makes it easy for parents to be involved. The focus of preschool education should be to inspire all the adults in a preschooler's life to be aware of what they can do to prepare a child for their future life. Fortunately we now know best practices to prepare a child for a successful start to school. Is the business community ready to be involved in educating preschoolers when it becomes more than a donation but a challenge to their own workers?