Linda and Sammy were overjoyed to finally have the family they dreamt of together when Eliseo was born. They knew they needed the support of a high-quality early childhood education program, and before long they realized how critical this was in the development of their son.

“When I came to D.C. at the age of ten, I did not have any family. Today my family, Linda and Eliseo, mean the world to me,” says Sammy.

When Eliseo was still very young, he was enrolled in a home-visiting program. In this program an educator came to their home to work with Eliseo a few days a week to promote his development and provide support to Linda and Sammy as new parents. As Eliseo grew it became clear speaking was a challenge for him, so he began working with a speech therapist. The speech therapist recommended Eliseo transition into a high-quality early childhood education center so he could be around peers his age—interacting with other children would foster the development of his speech and social skills. As working parents, Linda and Sammy needed to find a childcare option that was affordable, yet still offered the high-quality support Eliseo required to learn and grow.

After researching many options, Linda and Sammy enrolled Eliseo at CentroNía, which came highly recommended by a close family member. At the age of 3, Eliseo joined CentroNía’s Pre-K program and is one of the youngest in his class.

“For me, CentroNía is the perfect place for Eliseo. I trust his teachers with everything –Eliseo and Ms. Nicole have a very special relationship. In some ways, she’s like a second mom. We’re very happy as parents,” says Linda.

“For the class holiday party, Linda and Sammy brought sandwiches cut into hearts and fruit cups for the whole class. They treat the teachers and students like their own family. As a teacher, it’s so
great to see them passionate about Eliseo’s education”- Ms. Nicole, Pre-K Teacher

Eliseo with his Pre-K Teacher Ms. Nicole.

When Eliseo came to CentroNía he was shy and kept to himself. Today, he is learning to use his language skills in both Spanish and English—even stopping by offices on the way home every day to say hi to CentroNia’s administrative staff. Eliseo loves to read and each night Linda and Sammy read a book before bed (his favorite is The Gingerbread Man). That’s not all that’s changed for Eliseo.

He’s also begun to try new foods he refused to try at home—he LOVES hummus and many different types of vegetables. For Eliseo, CentroNía is proving to be the perfect place for him to learn and grow. “We can see a huge difference in Eliseo since he started at CentroNía. He comes home and shares what he learned…naming the colors he sees as we walk around the neighborhood and counting things at home with us,” says Linda.

Eliseo continues to work with his speech therapist twice a week and he has made significant progress since coming to CentroNía. He also has a safe space where teachers and peers encourage his curiosity and give him the self-confidence to speak. Linda and Sammy are so happy at the growth they’ve seen already and are confident CentroNía is putting Eliseo on the trajectory to be school ready by age five. CentroNía is a place where all children receive the support they need to grow while developing a lifelong love for learning.