Seattle Preschool Program set to expand, offering early education to over 2,000 students next fall
SEATTLE, March 15, 2023 - More Seattle children will be getting a head start on learning as the city announces a boost to its popular preschool program.
Students have been singing in English and Spanish at La Escuelita Bilingual School for generations. Marisol Massó Lincoln was the school's first client.
"My parents started the school some 40-plus years ago as a family childcare center in the basement of our home," said Massó Lincoln, now CEO and Education Director of La Escuelita. "At that time, there was not a lot of options for bilingual education, there was not a lot of options for culturally relevant education."
Now La Escuelita is getting ready to welcome even more little learners, partnering with the Seattle Preschool Program to open two new classrooms at its Columbia City campus. It's part of an expansion of the program that will provide free or affordable pre-k to roughly 2,200 students by next fall.
"When we make investments in our children, we're quite frankly making investments in our collective whole in our city," said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell.
Local leaders like Mayor Harrell say the science is clear - early education paves a path to better outcomes later in life. It's why improving access to high-quality preschool is so important for children who may not otherwise have that opportunity.
"I remind people every day that when we see some of the issues we see out here on the streets, with people that have sort of lost their way, that at one point in their life, perhaps they were like these children." Harrell said. "Every single child has a calling, a very special purpose, and I think that's what you're helping them do, find their very special purpose."
28 SPP classrooms will be dual-language next school year, broadening the horizons of three-and-four-year-olds. La Escuelita parent Rosa Aguilar says it's education that has the potential to change her family's future.
"At that age, they are young, and their brain is like a sponge, absorbing everything around them." Aguilar continued, "being in a bilingual program, it will open the doors of the world for him, and allow him to make connections in the community."
The Seattle Preschool Program is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 school year. You can find out more by following this link.
for more features.