Tia C., a young mother, brings her son Damari to BronxWorks to give him a head start on his education.
Tia C. is a 24-year-old mother to son Damari, age 4. Damari is in his second year at a BronxWorks Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC).
BronxWorks operates two NAEYC-accredited ECLC programs, offering high-quality, full-day childcare facilities with classrooms serving children ages 3-5 years old, with a heavy emphasis on age-appropriate learning and social skills development preparing children for elementary school.
Tia, who works full time as a home health aide, speaks excitedly about the ECLC program at BronxWorks and how important it is to her son’s development. “Pre-K is so often overlooked, and it really is so important,” she says. “I feel like my son is way more prepared for kindergarten next year than he would be otherwise. They do way more here than I can do at home. I feel comfortable knowing he is here.”
Damari, who is full of energy, also loves coming to BronxWorks. If the program closes for a holiday, his mom says he gets sad. “I like playing with my 14 friends,” he says, speaking about his entire class. “I like going to the parks.” A highlight was in April when Tia and other parents of the students all went to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation for the annual trout release. ECLC children raised trout from eggs and then released the young fish into the wild, learning more about the environment and living things.
Knowing her son is learning the necessary skills he needs to prepare for school has allowed Tia to take her evenings to go back to school part time for cosmetology. “This program is so important,” she said. “The students are safe and comfortable, and it makes them want to come to school.”
To support BronxWorks programs helping families like Tia’s, donate to the BronxWorks Year-End Appeal!