“Who is ready for circle time?” Ms. Lorelle asks the small but energetic 2- year-old kids. In a matter of minutes they are all sitting in a circle and ready to start the day. Ms. Lorelle and her teaching assistants start to sing and clap to get the toddlers excited. The kids join in and take turns going in the middle to dance as they introduce themselves to everyone. They do all of this in English and Spanish.

Ms. Lorelle is a junior pre-k teacher who has been with the CentroNía family for three years. She is proud to be part of a program that builds a strong foundation for young children and instills a love for learning. After all the toddlers perform, Ms. Lorelle moves to the day’s lesson. First, she warms up the class by making them recite the alphabet and practice counting. Next, she reads the toddlers a book. She makes sure they are all paying attention and understands what she is reading. Activities like these are preparing the kids to read on their own. Circle time is just one example of how Ms. Lorelle uses her classroom to prepare toddlers for success in Pre-K and beyond.

“This is why the program at CentroNía is so special. Children are in a positive, bilingual learning environment all day. Whether it is jumpstarting their minds in circle time, getting active during recess, or growing their own food in the school garden, young children are always learning and having fun!“ Ms. Lorelle says.

Aside from helping the toddlers learn and be active, Ms. Lorelle also tries to help their families and other community members. She proudly discusses CentroNía’s open door policy that welcomes anyone from the community seeking support. Services can include diaper drives, workshops and classes, computer access and training, and help with living assistance. Ms. Lorelle makes sure all parents know CentroNía can help them and their child succeed!

As the morning continues, the early learners begin creating artworks focused on autumn themes. Today, they are gathered around the tables making corn art pieces.  They enthusiastically show off their work to anyone who will listen. As the kids proudly show off their work it is easy to see how confident and happy they are in Ms. Lorelle classroom.

Ms. Lorelle believes that “all our children are achievers [and that] they should dream big.” She wants to make sure all her kids feel confident and at home in her class.