Little Bus Preschool, also known as El Busesito, is a multilingual preschool that appears like any other classroom, except that it is on a bus.
The director of El Busesito Preschool, Faridhe Rodriguez, referred to the school as “a school on wheels” when she described what the institution was. Three buses transport children for five hours a week, and their program now assists 96 families.
Through our 2011–2012 survey of over 300 families, Valley Settlement learned of an urgent need for local, low-cost preschool.
Sally Boughton, the organization’s communications and developmental associate, said, “We really wanted a way to access some of the more isolated communities.”
Yearly, buses are stationed in convenient areas in 12 different communities so that all families may conveniently and affordably send their children on the short walk to school.
Boughton noted they’re able to shift the class to various communities as demand fluctuates. They can adapt to the changing demographics of neighborhoods and continue to provide preschool services to families in need, even when they relocate up or down the valley.
The students board the bright school bus twice a week for a total of two hours and thirty minutes. The children in the mobile preschool begin the day with free play, then move on to circle time, where they practice the letter and number of the day, and then close the day with story time, an art project, and outdoor play.
Even though Rodriguez is now the director of the preschool program, she started out as a teacher on the buses.
Comfortable though it may be, Rodriguez said, “It’s hard sometimes.” It’s true that the cramped quarters might be disconcerting at first, but the whole experience is well worth the effort.
The average class size in a regular school is eight pupils, with two instructors per class. According to Rodriguez, it is beneficial for pupils to see individuals in leadership positions who look like them from a young age because it makes them feel more represented. “I wish I would have had that growing up. “I didn’t have any teachers that looked like me,” Rodriguez said. “I wanted to see a familiar face.” “It was scary to be in a school when you didn’t speak English and nobody looked like you.”
El Busesito’s positive effects are not limited to the children. Valley Settlement’s El Busesito preschool aims to provide a welcoming environment for families, and the program’s goal is to encourage parental involvement in their child’s education.
She said that assisting families and helping them get involved in the local community is Valley Settlement’s main goal.
If you have El Busesito, as Rodriguez put it, “you also have a family support team.” They don’t want them to only learn about their child’s growth for two years; instead, they want them to know about their community and where to go if they ever need something and they’re not there.
The school will remain here until the end of the current school year, but it is possible that next year it may be relocated to better accommodate the demands of the families of its students. Well, that’s the beauty of a mobile preschool.