It Takes a Community
Source: Cable in the Classroom
"We know that high quality early education enhances future educational achievement among low-income students, but that is only part of the motivation to create this program. We have also succeeded in educating parents, future teachers and ourselves."
Harriet Romo set out to create a laboratory school that demonstrates the best practices in early education and provides a learning site for Head Start teachers working to earn their Associate and/or Bachelor's degrees.
Her years of dedicated work resulted in the creation of San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD)/University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Early Childhood Development Center, an exemplary child development center at an alternative high school in San Antonio.
Knowing that high quality, early education impacts future educational achievement, the Center sought to create a unique partnership model that enhances the learning of students of all ages – from low-income pre-school children, to college-aged teachers-in-training, to high school teen parents, and education professionals.
As a lab school for University of Texas at San Antonio, the Center allows pre-service students studying early childhood education to observe classroom situations from the downtown campus through distance learning technology. Most important, the Center serves as a community gathering place, offering a reading center for children with limited language development, parenting classes, and instruction on home ownership and small business development.
Thanks to its success, The SAISD/UTSA Center has received a $1 million gift to design and build a playground, continue the UTSA community-based learning projects, and support a Child and Adolescent Development Policy Research Institute at UTSA.