100 Students Graduate from the José Martí Child Development Center

This year, 100 children completed their final year of preschool and graduated from the José Martí Child Development Center (JMCDC). JMCDC staff, teachers, and families gathered to celebrate and honor the students who worked hard all year long and made outstanding progress in all areas of development (social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language). They are now ready for their next step: Kindergarten!

JMCDC at Hirabayashi Place honored 15 graduates at an event on Friday, June 21, at their rooftop playground. Chef Francisco prepared a delicious meal for the families, and the children decorated the space with their original artwork. The children gave performances; singing songs in English, Spanish, and Mandarin. Everyone enjoyed an exceptional performance from a group of ballerinas from Little Angel Studio accompanied by live piano music and music by a DJ! Also, Early Learning Program Manager CiKeithia Pugh congratulated the children and their families and presented them with their own take-home bag and a book for their participation in the Raising a Reader program. Finally, the teachers presented each child with a diploma, with many cheers from the crowd.

JMCDC on Beacon Hill then celebrated their 85 graduates on Thursday, June 28, at the Centilia Cultural Center where families first shared a potluck dinner provided by our kitchen and parents. The families and children then enjoyed a presentation by the spectacular Danza Azteca, followed by each class sharing their own cultural songs, poems and dances – in English, Spanish, and one class even recited a poem in Mixteco! We ended the night with certificates presented to the children for all their hard work and accomplishments throughout the year.

Mil gracias to the ECEAP and Step Ahead programs for making it possible for many of our students to attend preschool and the Seattle Public Library for supporting early literacy. We also want to thank our performers — Danza Azteca and Little Angel Studio — for sharing their beautiful traditions with the children, and many thanks to all of our parents for supporting their children’s educations and for their involvement in the program. Last but not least, a BIG congratulations to our graduates for a great year — we are so proud of all of our students and wish you the best of luck in kindergarten!


Tobacco 21 – Minimum Legal Sale Age (MLSA)

  • Washington state will be limiting the sale of tobacco and vapor products (including e-cigarettes) to persons under the age of 21 starting January 1, 2020.
  • We are one of seventeen states that have raised the minimum legal sale age (MLSA) for tobacco products to 21.
  • The state bill does not penalize youth possession; instead, it targets sellers of tobacco and vape products.
  • Other cities or states in the U.S. may face an implementation challenge because of existing rules and provisions that penalize buyers of tobacco or possession known as PUP (Purchase by Underage). When this law is enforced, it is anticipated that youth who are already addicted to tobacco and vape products may experience adverse consequences, For example, access to resources will be limited because they will be diverted. Young people of color will face noncompliance warnings at a rate disproportionately higher than their counterparts. Tobacco 21: Model Policy recommends a series of actions to adequately enforce this law. Steps include replacing laws and any criminal penalties with a civil penalty structure and requiring clerks to be above the legal minimum age to reduce sales to minors.
  • El estado de Washington limitará la venta de productos de tabaco y vapor (incluidos los cigarrillos electrónicos) a personas menores de 21 años a partir del 1 de enero de 2020. El estado de Washington es uno de los diecisiete estados que han aumentado la edad legal mínima de venta (MLSA) para Productos de tabaco a 21.
  • El proyecto de ley del estado de Washington está dirigida a los vendedores de productos de tabaco y vapeo (el proyecto de ley no penaliza la posesión de los jóvenes).
  • Otras ciudades o estados de los EE. UU. pueden tener un desafío con la implementación del cumplimiento de la ley debido a las reglas que se dirigen a los compradores con las disposiciones que penalizan la compra o posesión de tabaco por parte de PUP (Compra por parte de un menor de edad). Puede haber otros desafíos con esta ley, ya que pueden tener consecuencias adversas con los jóvenes que ya son adictos, desviar los recursos policiales y crear un enfoque desigual contra los jóvenes de color.  Es por eso que el Tabaco 21: Modelo de Ley recomienda reemplazar las leyes y las sanciones penales con una estructura de multas civiles, los empleados deben estar por encima de la edad mínima legal para reducir las ventas a los menores, y estas leyes deben aplicarse adecuadamente.