Escuelita Borikén is a quality multicultural and bilingual
pre-school program servicing 80 children in Villa Victoria
and the surrounding South End community. Escuelita provides
an education that fosters the physical, social, linguistic,
cultural, and cognitive development of children in a
challenging but self-affirming environment that is fun
for young children and their families. Escuelita is
licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and is accredited by the National Association
for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Leveraging
key partnerships with Child Care Choices of Boston and
the South End Community Health Center, Escuelita provides
mental health services to enrolled children. Through
a partnership with the JUMPSTART program, Escuelita
provides pre-school students with 1:1 social and literacy
skills development mentorship from college students.
Escuelita Borikén is open to children between the ages
of 2 years 9 months, to 5.5 years old. Seventy-seven
of the eighty children enrolled receive vouchers or
subsidies based upon family income and composition.
Escuelita’s enrollment has remained at 99.5% for the
last year and maintains an active waiting list because
there is an extremely high demand for affordable, quality
bilingual/multicultural childcare services.
The goals of Escuelita
Borikén are to:
Provide a quality, affordable, developmentally-appropriate bilingual
curriculum that employs activities that research suggests
promotes literacy and cognitive development—including
activities that promote questioning, exploring and
problem solving kills in order to develop critical
thinking skills. Ensuring that teachers are empowered
with the best education and training to implement
the curriculum and advocate for children.
Facilitate teachers and parents working cooperatively to enhance
the sense of dignity and self worth within each child
and his/her family with the goal of ensuring the child’s
social, emotional, physical and intellectual development.
Providing case management, family counseling and referral services
to assist parents families with educational, training
or human services needs; and
Increase staff, parents and community awareness of cultural differences
and practices as they impact on the school performance
of low-income families.
Program Design: The Escuelita Borikén pre-school
program strives to enhance the individuality of each
child by building upon his or her interest, abilities,
culture and learning style. Our goal is to make learning
a stimulating, enthusiastic and enjoyable experience
without pushing the child too fast. It is grounded in
the belief that children learn by doing and experiencing
with all their senses, playing and exploring in a variety
of settings, experimenting and problem solving on their
own and making mistakes.
Uses a rich variety of engaging materials and a
broad spectrum of opportunities for children to experiment,
manipulate and explore. Play is seen as the most dynamic
means by which children gain an understanding about
Is developmental. It provides for appropriate activities
and interactions based on the age and developmental
stage of the child.
and discovery-oriented. It provides classroom ready
activities, rather than background information, for
the teacher. It responds to the abilities, interests
and needs of each child.
Reflects the community. It respects each child as a member of distinct
family and culture through the environment, interactions
and activities provided.
Our Partnership with Families: Escuelita Borikén’s staff work closely with parents and families
to ensure high quality education for the children. We
ensure that parents feel supported and welcomed as observers,
contributors, and partners in their children’s education.
Parents are the first and most important teachers of
their children and our staff work in collaborative partnership
with them, maintaining regular, ongoing communication
to build trust and mutual understanding, and to ensure
that children’s learning and developmental needs are
program provides parents with listings of special events
(Coffee Hour with the Director on the first Wednesday
of every month, Family BBQ parties, Cooking Activities,
Story Telling Time, talent shows) volunteer opportunities,
and has established five working committees in the areas
of Curriculum, Fundraising, Literacy, Professional Development,
and Special Events.
What they are saying: Overall,
the Massachusetts Department of Education conducted
comprehensive reviews and site visits to all programs
receiving funds from the Community Partnerships for
Children. In their report they noted “Escuelita
Boriken is a great example of a high-quality, successful
early childhood program that fosters the development
of language skills.” They also noted that they “visited many bilingual programs
that were highlighted as providing high quality programming
for children. Specifically, the East Boston Early Learning
Center and the Escuelita
Boriken program have been cited as
providing high quality services for young children.”
Below Michael Flaherty reads to the children at Escuelita Borikén:
Please click below to see pictures of other guests
that have joined us for story time at Escuelita Borikén.