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Baldwin Park Unified Early Childhood Celebrates 2017-18 Milestones

BALDWIN PARK – Baldwin Park Unified’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program celebrated its 2017-18 achievements – including two new modular classrooms, extended service hours and renewal of a five-year federal grant – during a festive lunch that featured songs by preschool children.

More than 160 staff and community partners attended the 18th annual Community Partnership Recognition Luncheon, themed “Read Today, Lead Tomorrow,” held April 19. ECE staff and community partners were praised by Board of Education members, District administrators and representatives of state and federal legislators.

“Early childhood education is the foundation to making sure our students succeed,” Superintendent Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza said. “We cannot forget the partnerships we have, not only in the District, but the partnerships in the community.”

More than 1,500 students are served daily by the District’s preschool programs, which are enrolled to capacity – a status just five California preschools possess, according to ECE Director Ricardo Rivera.

Rivera recounted the program’s milestones, beginning with its pioneering start in 1942 to the renewal in 2017 of a five-year federal grant.

Rivera also highlighted the program’s addition of two modular classrooms at Heath Elementary and North Park Continuation High schools, funded via a $2.8 million federal grant. The buildings will accommodate 80 students for full-day classes.

The preschool program has adopted a curriculum with an integrated discipline system that has resulted in stronger scores in social-emotional development and which aligns strongly with K-12 instruction. A partnership with transitional kindergarten helps ensure students who cannot access preschool receive instruction.

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The program also provides preschool dual-language immersion instruction at two elementary schools, with a goal of expanding the effort to include each District elementary school that offers the English-Spanish program.

In health services, Rivera noted that 96 percent of preschool students have received physicals, 99 percent have received their immunizations and 100 percent receive health screenings after enrollment.

The program is working with a community partner to provide 13-week parenting classes in English and Spanish that are attended by 40 to 60 parents a week.

Guests also heard from Annalynn Apolinario, a parent who chairs the ECE Policy Council.

“I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the ECE family for cultivating a nurturing, empowering environment for our children to strive for school readiness and emotional and physical well-being, and availing countless resources for families to support our children,” Apolinario said.

PHOTOS:

BPUSD_ECE_1: Baldwin Park Unified preschool students perform one of three songs as a highlight of the Early Childhood Education program’s annual community partnership recognition lunch, held April 19.

BPUSD_ECE_2: Baldwin Park Unified parent Annalynn Apolinario describes the power of the Early Childhood Education program’s partnership with parents during the group’s annual community partnership recognition lunch, held April 19.

BPUSD_ECE_3: Baldwin Park Unified Early Childhood Education Director Ricardo Rivera recounts the organizations accomplishments in 2017-18 during the group’s annual community partnership recognition lunch, held April 19.