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Quality Education in a Safe Space

Nisreen enrolled her son, Yousuf, in Innovative’s Early Learning program three years ago. It wasn’t easy convincing her husband, Qusay, that preschool would be beneficial. “In our country there is nothing like this,” she said. Qusay was unaware that Early Learning was a structured program that provided learning support for children, and he struggled with the idea of sending his son to school. Yousuf didn’t have many friends; his father felt that keeping him inside the home meant to keep him safe, protecting him from danger that could be outside their home. But Nisreen saw the benefits of sending their son to preschool: the promotion of social and emotional development, language and cognitive skills, and kindergarten preparation, among others. She and her husband met with Judy Guzmán, Innovative’s Family Advocate. “He changed his mind when he met Judy,” she laughed. “The first time he came to the school, and saw the facility, Judy showed him that our son would be safe.”

It’s now been three years, and Yousuf is thriving in his class. “Yousuf has changed a lot. He speaks full sentences now. He never used to listen to me at home.” Now, she says he takes the initiative with chores, he’s more independent, and his family is impressed by how well he can speak.“Great things have happened to my son since he’s been going to school here. I appreciate Judy. She helped me a lot.”

Nisreen is now working in Innovative’s Early Learning program as a substitute teacher and hopes to eventually have the opportunity to teach a class of her own. “I like working here. It’s awesome. I’ve learned so many new things,” she said. “When I got the job, the teachers in the program made me feel like they’ve known me forever. They show me respect, and they show me help. I don’t think, in my own country, that I would get this respect and help.”

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