Our mission is to end the cycle of homelessness, one child at a time.
Why We Exist
Every day in Long Beach there are children facing uncertainty. Homelessness, food insecurity, and lack of transportation, among other concerns, create an unstable environment for young children making the ability to thrive very challenging. Precious Lamb seeks to be the first stop for these children on their way to education and breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty in their family. Our goals are to educate, support and enrich them in their daily lives. Precious Lamb Preschool is available free of charge to children living in shelters and rehabilitation programs in the greater Long Beach area.
For founder Sharalyn Croft Precious Lamb Preschool was a dream long before it opened its doors in 2002. After working in private preschools for some time, noticing the quality care and low child-to-teacher ratio, she asked herself, why isn’t this available for at-risk families? She began to develop a school with all the advantages of a faith-based private school, but without the cost. She soon learned that in the local homeless shelters, there was a serious need for just her kind of program. That’s when Sharalyn knew the school wasn’t just her dream, it was a Godsend for many families. Precious Lamb began looking for a home in 1999, and after many doors were shut to a school accepting homeless families, a large church downtown answered our call and welcomed us in. Since 2002, Precious Lamb has served hundreds of Long Beach families.
Precious Lamb Preschool was founded. We began serving students in January 2002.
Children ages 18 months-5 years old experiencing homelessness have received full time, free preschool.
of every dollar donated is spent directly on programs.
Our uniquely low 1:4 ratio ensures small class size and an intimate, trauma-informed learning environment in designated classrooms.
- Our focus is to provide tuition-free, high quality, early education for children 18 months-5 years old and their families who are experiencing homelessness. We encourage a nurturing, whole-family approach and provide a trauma-informed environment.
- Our teaching and support staff is trained in spotting signs of trauma, the nuanced curriculum children facing trauma require, and resources available for parents. Studies show children living in transitional situations will most likely experience trauma and have triple the numbers of emotional and behavioral problems.
- We are a faith-based Christian preschool, teaching biblical foundations, but people of all faiths are accepted to attend. 67% of students with educational developmental delays show major improvement. 80% of students with social-emotional developmental delays show major improvement. 90% of our preschool graduates demonstrate kindergarten readiness
- All of our children live in homeless shelters, domestic violence programs, crisis pregnancy programs, treatment programs and sober livings. Precious Lamb seeks to provide quality education and holistic care so their parent(s) can focus on their mental health, sobriety, education, permanent housing.
- We partner with 20 local shelters, programs, and drug/alcohol treatment centers to refer eligible families into our programs. Parents receiving treatment for abuse, counseling, schooling or job training that has the opportunity to improve their families’ lives may enroll their children into Precious Lamb- FULL TIME. Absolutely NO COST. Our school is designed to allow the parent to attend the programs they need to during the day while their child is cared for.
- We partner and collaborate with many entities throughout the city, including the Multi-Service Center, the Guidance Center, ChildNet, LBUSD, CSULB, other preschools for at-risk students, churches and private schools and many more to promote Continuum of Care with a far reaching scope.