Meshaal and Holy Cross volunteer Kelly on the ENL preschool field trip to Duane's ranch.
The ENL Preschool is a program that began in 2011 to serve a need in the community. Our one-of-a-kind program is not only unique because of the nine languages spoken by the children, or the five different dialects of Arabic, and not even because of the everyday changing curriculum according to the children’s interests: it is especially unique in that each of the 31 families we have worked with has a story like no other.
The Robinson Community Learning Center houses Adult English as a New Language classes through the South Bend Community Schools. These classes have consisted of people from all around the world, bringing more than ten different languages under one roof to learn English together. It had been difficult for some parents with young children at home, and so the ENL Preschool was created to help parents build community, and also to give English Language Learners a jump up on succeeding in the American school system.
The preschool uses the HighScope Curriculum which is used in Head Start across America. The HighScope Curriculum emphasizes adult-child interaction, a carefully designed learning environment, and a plan-do-review process that strengthens initiative and self-reliance in children and young people. Our teachers and children are active partners in shaping the educational experience.
Within the past four years we have served 35 children from 13 different countries; Armenia, China, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Liberia, Mexico, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Ukraine. Many of our families have entered the United States as refugees; all have come looking for a better life for their families. The ENL Preschool receives minimal funding; all of the staff are students or AmeriCorps members.
Some of the children in the ENL Preschool have been in the preschool for three consecutive years. The parents of the children come together as a family to celebrate the children’s birthdays, first Thanksgivings, and other holidays. While a visitor was in the classroom with a clipboard, one of our refugee parents--fearing the persecution he knew back home--found the English to say, “We are family here at Robinson Center, please do not take the preschool away from our children.” It is that sense of community that is our greatest achievement.
Here at the English as a New Language Preschool we believe that each child is unique in his or her own war and has his or her own different and valuable experiences in life. We recognize that children learn, grow, and thrive in a positive, loving, respectful and nurturing environment.
It is our goal to help each child feel safe and secure in our Preschool. We strive to make the preschool experience an extension of the security that children feel at home with their families. We also strive to nurture the “whole child” through a variety of activities that are developmentally appropriate and allow the children to learn and grow physically and mentally, and expand their knowledge of the English language through experience and interaction with others.
In order for your child to be eligible for enrollment in the ENL Preschool, you must be enrolled in an Adult English-as-a-New-Language course through the South Bend School Corporation (SBSC) Adult Education program. Information regarding the Adult Education program can be found on their web page: https://www.edline.net/pages/SouthBendCSC/SBCSC_Departments/Adult_Education or by calling (574) 283-7505.
After you have confirmed your enrollment in the Adult ENL courses offered by the South Bend School Corporation, please your program administrator know you are interested in having your child attend the ENL preschool.
ENL Preschool Parent Forms: