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.

Target Population: 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.

Our curriculum…

  • 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 their world.
  • Is developmental. It provides for appropriate activities and interactions based on the age and developmental stage of the child.
  • Is child-centered, 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 met.

The 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.

"Puerto Rico": Escuelita Borikén's VII annual Talent Show
Day:   Friday, May 26, 2006
Time:  11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Place:  Jorge Hernández Cultural Center

85 West Newton St.

Download the complete Invitation



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