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Seeking participants for mobile preschool

Xiente, a nonprofit organization committed to fostering economic mobility within communities, announced the launch of its initiative, the Busesito Mobile Preschool. Serving as Philadelphia’s first mobile preschool, Busesito aims to revolutionize early childhood education by providing free, high-quality preschool readiness education to children aged 3 to 5. It also seeks to address the gap between the demand for childcare and available slots in Philadelphia, particularly affecting “communities of color” and low-income families. 

Funded by The William Penn Foundation and Vanguard, and designed to address needs in early childhood education, Busesito offers a multifaceted approach to improving outcomes in these three pillars for children in the care of family, friends and neighbors who often do not possess formal teaching credentials:

• Enhancing Quality of Education: Offering technical assistance to FFNs empowers them to adopt a more structured and educational approach to childcare. By providing resources, training, and support, Xiente aims to empower FFNs to see themselves as educators, thus improving the quality of early childhood education provided in informal settings.

• Increasing Kindergarten Readiness: High-quality early education equips children with the academic, social and emotional skills needed for a successful transition to kindergarten. By focusing on preschool readiness skills such as letters, numbers, shapes, colors, comparisons and phonics, Busesito ensures that children are better prepared academically, socially and emotionally for their next educational journey. Closing the achievement gap at this stage sets a foundation for future academic success.

• Promoting Economic Mobility: Economic stability and access to resources are fundamental aspects of a child’s academic success. By working with families as a whole and addressing economic needs, Xiente aims to support the well-being of the family and create conditions conducive to children’s learning and development. Research consistently shows that children whose families have their basic needs met and are economically stable tend to perform better academically.

Rashanda Perryman, Head of Philanthropy at Vanguard’s Community Stewardship group, praised the initiative, stating, “With its innovative approach to supporting preschool students and their caregivers, Xiente’s mobile preschool is taking a meaningful step towards broadening access to early childhood education in Philadelphia.”

Jennifer Stavrakos, interim director of the Great Learning Program at the William Penn Foundation, expressed excitement about supporting Xiente’s efforts to provide high-quality early education opportunities, stating, “We’re excited to support Xiente’s new effort, as part of our goal to ensure all Philadelphia children have access to high-quality early childhood education programs that prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond.”

Busesito also collaborates with various organizations within Philadelphia’s early learning ecosystem to offer complementary programming. Partnerships include initiatives like ParentChild+ in collaboration with the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, with outcomes assessed by partner Mathematica.

Additionally, Valley Settlement in Roaring Forks, Colorado, serves as a model for Xiente’s mobile preschool program, providing technical assistance for the pilot. This initiative builds on Xiente’s more than 20 years of experience in delivering quality, bilingual early childhood education and support services, reaching nearly 3,000 families in 2022 alone.

Busesito seeks participants for its fall 2024 cohort across Philadelphia, but especially in North, Northeast and South Philadelphia.

For caretakers interested in participating in the program, email Sarah Clemency at sarah.clemency@xiente.org. ••

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