Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- February 1, 2001


Cal Poly's ASI Children's Center Receives $1 Million Contribution

Securities valued at $1 million have been given to Cal Poly's ASI Children's Center by Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea and his family.

A public dedication of the center's new name, the Orfalea Family and ASI Children's Center, will be held at the facility at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7.

The gift will be used to support the operation of the center, which is funded by student fees, and to expand its parent education program.

"The Orfalea family has an avid interest in child development and has supported many such causes elsewhere," said Cal Poly President Warren J. Baker. "With this gift, the family becomes a partner with the university's Associated Students Inc. in educating young children and their parents."

"Our family has a long-standing commitment to young children, and we are happy to see our contributions make a difference in their families' lives," said Orfalea. "We really believe that early care needs more of this country's focus and attention. We should think of investing in early care programs the same way we think about investing in college educations, because both are essential learning environments in the development of our youth and future leaders."

The gift is the second one from the Orfalea family. In November they donated securities worth $15 million to Cal Poly's College of Business.

The children's center began operation in 1973 and provides care for children of students, the faculty, and staff members, ranging in age from four months to six years. It is a nationally accredited program, a standard that is achieved by only 7 percent of child care programs nationwide.

"We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the Orfalea family," Tonya Iversen, director of the children's center, said. "This donation will allow us to develop new and innovative programs for parent education and will provide resources for the continuing operation of the center as a model program for children and families."

The center also serves as a hands-on laboratory for students majoring in psychology and human development.

The expanded Parent Education Program, developed by the center's staff, will be implemented in three tiers:

  • Parents with children enrolled at the center will be able to participate in weekly and quarterly support and education groups and check out books, videos and games from a resource lending library;

  • Lunch discussions and parent support groups will be made available to parents who are part of the Cal Poly community at large; and

  • The center will provide workshops and classes for community members on building skills for successful parenting.

"The children's center has evolved beyond just ASI," according to Sam Aborne, ASI president. "This gift allows us to expand our service to the campus population and to have flexibility in delivering the best service possible -- all without raising student fees."


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