by Mauricio Vela
Bernal Preschool Parents & Supporters Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by releasing seven month feasibility study for New Bernal Preschool/Learning Center.
Over the past eight months, with the financial support provided Supervisor Ammiano’s office, the Bernal Preschool committee with participation and support of parents, community members, childcare experts, elected and appointed officials has examined three options to ensure that Bernal Preschool remains in our Community Hub.
The Bernal Preschool Committee has been fighting for the past 2 1⁄2 years to remain in the Community Hub that has been their home for almost 30 years. Due to the renovation of the library, the library and its supporters have taken this opportunity to evict the Preschool. Preschool parents, with support from Parent Voices, and community supporters have refused to accept the permanent displacement to Paul Revere elementary. Gladys Soto states” We refuse to be pushed out of our home for thirty years after we put in the sweat equity to keep the library open, renovate the playstructure, gymnasium, and Neighborhood Center, and revitalized Cortland Ave. We wanted to create a safety net for our children, youth, and seniors most at risk. We successfully did that and now we’re being asked to leave.”
Based on our findings, the committee prioritized Option “C” which is to utilized 2,700 sq. ft of land within the Bernal Playground. Should this option not be realized then the committee supports Option “A” which is to return to the Library upon completion of the renovation in 2009. The committee will continue to meet with the responsible governing bodies as well with members of the community, and other supporters to create the “political will” and financial support to make our new Preschool/Learning Center a reality.
Building the new preschool addresses the Mission/Bernal short fall of 700 childcare slots. Presently, the Bernal preschool offers 25 slots. By building the new preschool 25 additional slots will be created at the Preschool and an additional 50 will be provided at Paul Revere by the Mission Neighborhood Centers which has offered to take over the space once the Preschool returns to the Hub for an increase of 75 Bernal slots. Over the last five years Bernal Heights has lost Little People’s Workshop Coop and Alfa Day childcare center. Building the new preschool also contributes to the city wide childcare shortfall. Supervisor Ammiano, Daly, and Assemblyman Mark Leno have come out publicly in support of the new Preschool/Learning. The new Preschool/Learning Center will also allow City College to provide parenting classes for the preschool parents, nannies, and stroller moms of the community. Supervisor Ammiano added $1.6 million into the children and senior budget supplemental just introduce by Supervisor Daly on April 24th.
As part of the Preschool’s celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the preschool plans to unvail our findings to the public.
Que Viva Cinco de Mayo!!! Si Se Puede!!