Local News

Carrboro Preschool Combines Cultures And Caring

Posted August 23, 2001 2:05 a.m. EDT

— Some children in Carrboro are saying "hola" to new friends in more ways than one.

On the surface, Mi Escuelita is unique enough. The Spanish immersion preschool is designed to blend cultural differences between English and Spanish-speaking children.

"It's a place where they're being enriched with learning, playing and the Spanish language," says director Sonia Wiggins.

Mi Escuelita is also bridging another gap by taking advantage of its new home on the ground floor of the Shepherd House Assisted Living Center.

Several times a week, the students, who range in age from 1 to 5 years old, visit the center's residents to share a song and a smile with residents.

"The children bring to the senior citizens the love and the attention that they really kind of miss when they're not with their families," says Wiggins.

For the children, it's a chance to interact with people who may remind them of relatives they left behind in their native country.

"It's like the grandma they may have missed or the grandma they didn't get to know or the grandpa or aunt and uncle. It's just great," says Wiggins.

Two-thirds of Mi Escuelita's students are of Latino heritage; one-third are English-speaking students whose parents would like them to learn Spanish.

The program is still open to enrollment.