Little Ones Preschool
Corpus Christi Parish
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Little Ones Preschool has offered affordable and multicultural education for as many as 50 children ages 18 months to five years since 1978. The school serves a diverse group of young learners from more than 12 countries, including those who came to the U.S. as refugees. This multicultural setting, which is embraced in the classroom, gives the students a distinctive opportunity to learn about the world. Students from different countries relate as friends and peers.
Some challenges come with this diversity. A few students arrive at school speaking no English. Little Ones immerses these students in the classroom, with the watchful support of teachers, to help them develop English language skills. These students quickly start to learn the language and have little trouble interacting with classmates and keeping up with the lessons.
For parents who do not speak English well, Little Ones recruits bilingual volunteers from the community to interpret for parents so that they are comfortable communicating with teachers about their children’s education. The school also has informational materials that are sent home with students available in multiple languages so parents can keep up with goings on in the classroom.
Regardless of their background, Little Ones Preschool creates a nurturing and loving atmosphere for all its students where they can develop mentally, socially, and physically by improving cognitive and communication skills, encouraging an awareness of themselves and others, fostering active play, and teaching kids to work and live in the spirit of sharing and cooperation. The school is not a daycare facility. Rather, it is a place where young children have fun while learning.
Little Ones’ provides ways for working parents to balance work schedules with caring for their children. The school is open five days a week year-round and offers both full and half-day care, along with before and after-school care. The regular school year goes from August to May, while the summer camp program runs the rest of the year. The preschool also offers all-day childcare on holidays when other schools are closed for children ages nine and under whose parents are working.
These accommodations are vital in the Corpus Christi community. Twenty-three percent of residents there live below the poverty line, and 16% receive supplemental nutrition benefits in order to keep food on the table. In recent years, the unemployment rate in communities around the parish was about 1.5 times higher than national and state unemployment rates. Programs like Little Ones help families face these challenges and put their children on a path to a better future.