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It's that time again...✏️📚😊

Our teaching assistant Oriana with Kinder student Emiliano

It's that time again, back to school for a new academic year! This year, students from pre-kinder through 3rd grade will be attending classes in our preschool and learning center.

In the Yspaniola preschool, teachers Johnny and Yohanna are excited to come back to school after the summer break! 

Yohanna told us: “I love teaching here at Yspaniola and am very excited for this academic year. We always are sure to mix lots of care, love, and respect in with our educational curriculum and I can see the effects of this throughout the community. I see the way our students influence other children in the Batey who aren’t old enough to come to classes or do not attend school, teaching them educational songs and providing them with a positive influence. It makes me feel very proud of what I do.”

Johnny said: "I feel very motivated about coming back to classes because it makes me feel like I'm doing something good when I'm teaching kids and helping prepare them to construct a better society. I love this job and I love educating the children and watch then grow into good people that will one day be able to contribute to their families, their community, and the country they live in.” 

Yspaniola classes began Monday, September 12th while public school classes began Wednesday, September 21st. Classes at the public schools and the Yspaniola learning center were both canceled for two days for safety concerns in light of Hurricane Fiona. Although the hurricane caused flooding in the Batey, the damage was minor in comparison to other parts of the island.

Thankfully all of our students and staff were able to stay safe, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected. 

Our Preschool K-3 Classes

Our amazing Preschool Team!
L-R: Yohanna, Johnny and Oriana
This school year our Yspaniola teaching team and management decided to extend our early childhood education programming to three year olds in the Batey Libertad community. Early childhood education is crucial for childhood development and greatly determines future academic outcomes. According to UNICEF, "Children enrolled in at least one year of pre-primary education are more likely to develop the critical skills they need to succeed in school and less likely to repeat grades or drop out." 

The Dominican Republic has pledged to increase coverage to include three and four year olds in the public education system in the future. However, as many schools, including the Batey Libertad public primary school, continue to struggle with the implementation of the full school day that became mandatory in 2018, Yspaniola decided to give the students of Batey Libertad a head start.

For the first year ever, Yspaniola is offering classes for students from three years old. Exeutive Director of Yspaniola, Amy Porter stated: "Sadly, most students in Yspaniola's classrooms are likely to face hostile discrimination based on their skin colour and social background. Many students first direct experiences of this will be in the classroom and the playground. We want to take this opportunity to not only to prepare students with the vital foundational motor skills and building blocks for literacy, but also to fill their young minds with boundless self-esteem and promote self-confidence in themselves and their abilities. By providing two whole years of targeted instruction starting at age three, we hope that our students will feel ready to take on the world by they enter the public school aged five."

Our preschool classes are led by Johnny, Yohanna, and Oriana. Taking on a new age group has posed new challenges, however, all of our teaching staff are motivated and excited about stepping up. Yohanna believes: "the earlier the better. Preparing the children before public school makes a huge difference, I love the idea." Johnny thinks its very important "to start teaching children appropriate classroom behavior, sharing, and developing their language skills as early as possible."  Yspaniola's pre-kinder classes making a positive impact on students behavior. They are also linguistically preparing children whose primary language is Creole for a Spanish-only speaking learning environment when they get to public school. These early intervention classes are popular with the parents, who were delighted when we announced our plan to cater for three year olds this year. 
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Yspaniola · 33 Seaverns Ave · Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 · USA

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Yspaniola · 33 Seaverns Ave · Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 · USA

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