Dr. Jill Biden visits Poughkeepsie education non-profit

Image courtesy of President Bradley and Sophie Mode ’25

On Friday, Oct. 6, First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden visited Poughkeepsie to discuss education initiatives in the Hudson Valley. Dr. Biden’s trip showed support for Dutchess Community College’s expansion of semiconductor industry training programs and Day One Learning Community’s preschool teachers training program. 

According to The Daily Freeman, Dr. Biden landed in Stewart International Airport on Friday morning before traveling to both Poughkeepsie and Fishkill. The First Lady celebrated the opening of the Mechatronics Lab at Dutchess Community College. Last October, President Joe Biden visited Poughkeepsie after IBM invested $20 billion in the Hudson Valley to increase the production of semiconductors. Biden, an educator herself, also visited the Reformed Church of Poughkeepsie for an event focused on Day One Learning Community’s innovative education programs.   

The visit was hosted by Day One Learning Community, a local Poughkeepsie school that focuses on early childhood education. According to the organization’s website, “Our MISSION is to create a model teaching and early learning community where families, educators and future teachers collaborate to nurture every child’s potential, from day one.” Day One co-founders and Vassar alumnae Gerry Laybourne ’69 and Julie Riess ’82 helped organize the event, while Deputy to the President Wesley Dixon introduced Gerry Laybourne and greeted guests. Dixon commented, “At the event, elected officials, non-profit/community leaders and students reflected on the importance of access to quality early-childhood education in Poughkeepsie and in the country.” He continued, “Day One Early Learning was referenced as an example of a model of early-childhood education that can be replicated in other communities around the country.” 

Executive Director of the Vassar Education Collaboration John Bradley discussed Biden’s trip to the Hudson Valley, commenting, “The purpose of the visit was to focus attention on the community college and Poughkeepsie early learning programs to highlight the progress that is being made in these two areas.” He added that Biden connected local issues with the Biden Administration’s goals saying, “Jill Biden talked about the administration’s focus on building the new economy and on expanding early childhood education.”

Several Vassar students were recruited to staff the event, assisting with setup, security and ushering. Sophie Mode ’25, a student who worked the event, shared in a written correspondence to The Miscellany News, “Coming from the Office of Community Engaged Learning, I know what an impact Day One has on all of its students, and how much Vassar students have learned when working there!” She continued, “We were so excited that their innovative ideas were getting recognition from the First Lady and the Secretary of Education, it was a very inspiring and emotional day all around.”

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