From Pre-K to Kindergarten

When Emily first enrolled in the José Martí Child Development Center at the beginning of the school year, she was very quiet and timid, and cried when arriving at school. The teachers supported her transition by helping her to learn the routine, make friends with her classmates and read books about feelings and emotions, and she began to develop confidence in herself.

Emily’s social/emotional development has progressed immensely, so much that she now shows great happiness to come to school each day and to interact with her classmates and teachers. She also loves to welcome guests who visit the classroom, giving them gifts and reciting poems or songs in both English and Spanish.

Academically, Emily has developed greatly in all areas of development. She recognizes and makes sounds of all the letters in the alphabet in both English and Spanish, and she knows numbers 1-100. By sounding out the letters, she is even beginning to read some words, including the names of all of her classmates! Emily’s first language is Spanish, but she can also now understand and speak in her second language, English, at the same level as her first language, holding conversations in English and enjoying books and stories in both English and Spanish.

Emily’s success is also due to her mother’s active involvement in her education. Even though she has two jobs, she frequently asks the teachers for bilingual books and other activities she can do at home to support Emily’s development.

Due to the supportive environment at JMCDC and at home, Emily now loves to learn and play and with her teachers and friends. By the winter assessment, she was already meeting all expected developmental levels, so when she starts kindergarten in September, she will be well-prepared for a successful transition to school!

Violet’s Transition

Violet, an African American woman and former service person who served in the US Army, initially came to El Centro de la Raza through a referral from 211-Crisis connections in June 2016. Like more than 50% of the service persons assisted by the Veteran Pathfinder program, Violet was experiencing homelessness during her initial intake interview. Violet also suffers from epilepsy and is physically disabled.

After her initial enrollment into the Veterans program, Violet received supportive services and was able to move from unsheltered homelessness to a shelter bed. Through our efforts at El Centro de la Raza, Violet was able to move into an apartment in Renton and was provided with a care aide to assist her with travel to and from scheduled appointments.

Violet returned to El Centro de la Raza in March of 2019 as a participant in our Food Bank program. Violet re-connected with the Veterans Pathfinder staff and now is able to access additional resources such as bus tickets, and veteran meet-up social engagements that enable her to stay connected to other veterans in the area.