Mi Escuelita Therapeutic Preschool: A Safe Place to Be a Child Site Visit

Thursday, October 18, 2018
1:30pm - 5:00pm PDT
Mi Escuelita Therapeutic Preschool
430 F Street | Chula Vista, CA 91910
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Join ECFC and San Diego Grantmakers for a unique site visit opportunity following the closing session of the Grantmakers for Education annual conference.

ECFC and SDG will host a grantmaker site visit to the Mi Escuelita Therapeutic Preschool in the Chula Vista School District of San Diego, the only school of its kind in Southern California designed especially for children ages 3-5 affected by domestic violence and abuse to help break the cycle of violence, help children and their families heal and begin the right path for school.

Young children who have been exposed to violence and trauma experience a wide range of difficulties that affect their development, education and health (such as reduced verbal ability which can impede school readiness and academic outcomes in later grades).  

Mi Escuelita employs impactful strategies supporting children ages 3-5 and their families who have experienced violence and trauma: free all-day preschool with bilingual staff; full-time therapists in each classroom; senior volunteers in each classroom to provide intergenerational experiences; youth intervention and diversion programs for older siblings; wrap around services, counseling and crisis intervention for the whole family; and more.   A longitudinal study of Mi Escuelita children who were subsequently enrolled in the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) illustrated that across all years Mi Escuelita children performed equal to, and often better, than their peers on several different academic outcomes.  Learn more about the study outcomes.

Mi Escuelita is also a model for community-based public/private collaboration.  The preschool is operated by South Bay Community Services (SBCS), a community-based non-profit organization, on the campus of an elementary school within the Chula Vista Elementary School District.  It serves children referred by local law enforcement, Child Welfare Services, domestic violence programs, community-based organizations, and SBCS emergency shelter and transitional housing programs. The school is funded by First 5 San Diego, private donations, student sponsorships, and an annual fundraising gala.

Learning goals:

This site visit program will provide early childhood, education and health funders – as well as those interested in strengthening families in other ways–with an opportunity to:

  • Explore the value of trauma informed care for young children and their 
         families to put them on the right path for health, wellness and academic 
  • Illustrate the intersections of early learning and care, education and other 
         important outcomes for long term health and wellness for children and their 
  • Build relationships between local and national funders interested in the 
          intersections of early care and learning and long-term success for children 
          and their families.

Working Agenda:

1:30pm     Grantmakers Learning & Networking Lunch

3:00pm    Mi Escuelita site visit: Guided small group experience to 3, 4 and 5-yr 
                   old classrooms, followed by presentation and discussion with Mi 
                   Escuelita staff: Valerie Brew, Child Well Being Director; and Pam 
                   Wright, Clinical Director.

4:30pm    Funder take-aways and future learning opportunities

5:00pm    Adjourn

Eligible Attendees:  

This event is open to all foundations and other grantmaking entities (e.g. United Ways, public charities, First Fives), as well as staff, board, and volunteers of grantmaker affinity groups and regional associations of grantmakers.


There is no registration fee for this event.  Attendees will be responsible for the cost of their lunch.


Register to receive additional information on:

  • Lunch venue;
  • Directions and parking information for local attendees;
  • Transportation from the Grantmakers for Education conference hotel (for 
          conference attendees staying on to participate in this site visit program).
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