Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spanish Community Service Learning Anecdote 10

by Ann Abbott

Finding quality childcare in this country can be very problematic. Cost, distance, quality-control are parents' (lack of) flexibility at work are just some of the issues that make it so difficult.

As difficult as it is, it's also very important.

One of our community partners, Child Care Resource Services, helps parents find childcare. They also guide parents through the process of getting financial assistance for childcare. This student works with an actual child-care provider, and her experience is an interesting complement to our students who work with elementary and high school students.

I volunteer 2 hours a week at the Champaign Pre-K Early Childhood Center, which is a state-funded school that provides children who are determined to be "at-risk" with an opportunity to attend preschool free of charge. I work personally with a 3-year old named Michael, who speaks very little English, but yet is in an all English classroom with no readily available translator to help him bridge the existing language barrier. I have learned that there are other children that attend the school who are in similar situations such as Kevin's. I have also learned that since it is a state-funded program, there is not enough money to pay for extra Spanish speaking teachers to assist the Spanish speaking children.

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