DENVER (CBS4) – Early Childhood Education has been a casualty of the Denver teachers strike, halted entirely. But, a church at 38th Avenue and Osceola Street is helping fill the gap.

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For the kids, the Highland United Methodist is a place to attend preschool, for the parents it’s a place to safely leave their children, and for the teachers it beats going through withdrawl.

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Kate Winslow is one of those helping. She is normally a kindergarten and 1st grade teacher at Centennial Elementary School.

“It’s a really hard thing to not be with our kids. It’s painful,” she said.

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Volunteers from the Denver Classroom Teachers Association donate their time and love. The church had the room and willingness to help.

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“When we knew there would be a strike the congregation knew this would impact kids in the neighborhood,” Pastor Bradley Laurvick told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews Pastor Bradley Laurvick. (credit: CBS)

He says members of the congregation and businesses in the neighborhood have donated food and other items. As for the kids, Winslow put it this way, “They love people who love kids and teachers are people who love kids.”

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One parent, Veronica DeLeon came to pick up her 3-year-old daughter, Vidah. The mother said she is grateful for this church because she and her husband would not have been able to work without it.

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On the first day of the strike there were three children dropped off. Now there are about 30.