In all that we do, Mi Escuelita will:
The Need for Mi Escuelita
The odds for academic success do not favor the Hispanic child. Nationwide one in four Hispanic teens will drop out of high school. In the 2010-2011 school year 51% of children entering kindergarten in the DISD were categorized as Limited English Proficient and 70% of children entering kindergarten were Hispanic. While the graduation rate for Hispanic students in DISD is 66.5%, LEP students have a graduation rate of 44% and the majority of LEP students are Hispanic. The long term impact of a lack of education on earning power is significant; 1,000 high school dropouts represent a loss of $13 million more dollars in annual earnings supporting the Texas economy.
Mi Escuelita’s approach to teaching English to its students is to immerse them in a language rich environment. It is not a bilingual educational setting; English is the classroom language. Children are encouraged to become bilingual with the goal that they will be proficient and literate in two languages. Because children attend Mi Escuelita during their language formation years, it is the opportune time for them to become comfortable using more than one language and they will retain this ability as they grow older.
Mi Escuelita Preschool, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization located in Dallas, Texas that provides a unique service to low-income families with children considered to be “at-risk.” While remaining strongly dedicated to the preservation of each child’s cultural heritage, Mi Escuelita’s primary focus is to provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment where non-English speaking children of preschool age are taught the English language, pre-reading, literacy, and social skills necessary to have a successful experience in both school and life.
Mi Escuelita Preschool began providing early childhood education to low income at-risk children in 1978. It was co-founded by Carolyn Strickland Helen Peña. It serves children ages 18 months to 5 years old. Its sites are open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday offering both a full day educational program and extended care. Today Mi Escuelita has 27 classrooms at six centers throughout Dallas. It has a staff of 77 teachers and support staff and a corps of more than 148 community volunteers. In the 2015-2016 school year enrollment averaged 560 children with 315 children set to graduate and to begin kindergarten in the fall.
Most of these children come from “working poor” families, scarcely surviving at or below poverty level.
Mi Escuelita operates both Head Start, Charter and private pay classrooms with just over 50% of children enrolled in Head Start classrooms.