Spotlight Program

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November 2015

UPDATE: Little Ones Preschool

Stone Mountain, Georgia
Students at Little Ones Preschool

High-quality and supportive early childhood education is crucial for all kids, but for young refugees and children living in poverty, there’s a lot more at stake.

Corpus Christi Parish’s Little Ones Preschool has been offering affordable, multicultural early childhood education for children ages 18 months to five years since 1978. The majority of students at Little Ones come from families living in poverty, and many of its young students are refugees.

Just a few miles from Corpus Christi is the city of Clarkston, Georgia, one of the largest refugee sites in the United States. Refugees from as many as 12 countries—including Somalia, Burma, Bhutan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia—have become a vibrant part of the Corpus Christi community. But serving this large refugee population is not without its challenges, as the needs of refugees are significant, diverse, and wide reaching.

English language skills are one such need. Many students arrive at Little Ones speaking little to no English. Little Ones immerses them in the classroom, and with the careful support of teachers, these students very quickly pick up the language and have little trouble following the lessons and interacting with friends.

Bulletin board at Little Ones Preschool

Poverty is another issue facing the refugee community, as it is for those originally from the area. As a result, scholarships are a huge need for Little Ones Preschool, since many families struggle to pay even modest tuition fees. tCI donors and Claretians at Corpus Christi help support the shortfall so the preschool can continue providing education and care to the school’s approximately 50 young students.

Little Ones also needs funds to help support its students with special needs and behavioral issues. With additional funding, the preschool could bring in occupational therapists and other specialists to help these young children develop the skills they need at a very crucial time in their education and development. This kind of support is too often out of the reach of families struggling with poverty.

A teacher with students at Little Ones Preschool

Related to this specialist support for students, Little Ones Preschool also wants to offer parenting workshops. Little Ones’ staff encounters parents working multiple jobs in an effort to try to support their families, leaving them exhausted, overwhelmed, and unable to cope with the challenges of raising young children with developmental or behavioral issues. When the school’s staff hears “I don’t know how to do this!” from a parent, they need to be able to say, “We can help you.”

Find out more about this unique preschool, and please consider supporting Little Ones today. Your gift of only $14 provides a full day of education and care for a child.

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