Federal Heights testing preschool on wheels

Denver Cascade Trailer Park program debuts March 2

Posted 2/26/18

Not all of the four-year-olds in Federal Heights can make it to the preschool, so a combined city and private effort wants to bring the preschool to them. “Transportation is an issue for some …

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Federal Heights testing preschool on wheels

Denver Cascade Trailer Park program debuts March 2

Posted

Not all of the four-year-olds in Federal Heights can make it to the preschool, so a combined city and private effort wants to bring the preschool to them.

“Transportation is an issue for some families,” said Right on Learning’s Rany Elissa. “If they have to work, they can’t pick the kids up or drop them off. So, we go to them and it alleviates at least one obstacle.”

Right on Learning will cut the ribbon March 2 on a mobile preschool effort at the Denver Cascade Mobile Home Park, 9650 Federal Boulevard. The company plans to bring a converted 20 passenger shuttle to the park through the end of the school year, providing pre-school education for 20 students — ten in the morning, ten at night.

“If we can come to them, it makes it possible for them to access a resource they might not be able to otherwise,” Elissa said.

Elissa said his company will begin registering families with plans to begin classes for 20 of the park’s four-year-old residents later in the month.

“We’ll do a community event on March 7 for residents, to meet with families and give them an opportunity to look at our bus and some of the activities we’ll do and get to know the faces in the community,” Right on Learning’s Alexa Garrido said.

Eventually, the bus will offer morning and afternoon preschool sessions for the park’s kids through the end of the school year and again for two months over the summer. They’ll offer four sessions per week, Mondays through Thursdays, with Fridays devoted to meeting with their students parents.

“We’ll do parent workshops, giving them extra resources,” Elissa said. “The idea is to bring the community together with the overall goal of helping with the education of their kids.”

Right On Learning has operated the converted shuttle for teaching purposes for about two years, offering high school and middle school tutoring and high school equivalency curriculum north and south across the Front Range.

“We can come to a community and tutor people without having to worry about getting space at a school or at a library,” Elissa said. “We can be totally self contained while being able to do more than one-on-one work, targeting multiple students at a time.”

They’ve also brought their bus to book fairs and community events around the Denver area. That culminated in seven week pre-school program in Thornton last summer.

“We want to get kids in a pre-kindergarten setting, kids that had not had pre-school experiences before,” Garrido said. “It really drives home the emotional skills kids need going into school, especially if they have not had anything like it before.”

Elissa said he had hoped to kick off the mobile pre-school in a Denver neighborhood but was stymied by the city’s zoning codes.

“They didn’t know what to do with us because we were not a brick-and-mortar operation,” Elissa said.

Federal Heights worked with them, however.

“It was a lot easier for us to talk to the right people and get permitted sooner,” Elissa said.

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