December 12, 2015
Centro VIDA and La Academia de Bahia (Preschool Programs)
· Both preschool programs are participating in the Piloting of the Quality Improvement Rating Scale Assessment (QRIS). We are very proud to share that both preschool (Centro VIDA and Academia de Bahia programs received a high rating of 4.26 and most notably had very high rating in instruction! The QRIS measures quality in preschool programs: Assessment, Environment, CLAS (Teacher Observation), Education and Qualifications of Teachers and Director. While we rated high, there is still room for improvement and our staff will be participating in trainings to improve our ratings. Our programs will be re-rated in 2017 and assessed to determine if the targeted training improved our overall score in the QRIS. By being a pilot and rating a 4 on the QRIS our preschool programs are poised for additional services to support our teachers training, classroom materials and equipment and addressing professional development needs of our student’s children parents.
· Centro VIDA was very recently highlighted in a newsletter For Center for Environmental Health for our advocacy for nontoxic sleep mats
· We are in our 3rd year of providing Salsa 4Kids at Centro VIDA and Dance by the Bay a UCB student group that brings to young children ballet Folklorico, music and movement every week.
· Children receive free Eye and Ear Screenings we were able to early identify 6 children that will need follow-up and we have provide references for our parents.
Bahia School Age Program
· Our School age Program was rated by a consultant from the State Department of Education and our school age program in the Environmental Rating Scale had an overall score of 6 out of 7. Our plans are to provide professional development for teachers in health and safety and activities.
· Collaboration with the City of Berkeley Mental Health and Public Health Department to provide the Latino Community Celebration of “Día de los Muertos” at Bahia School Age Program with Ballet Folklorico dressed as skeletons in Mexican folkloric costumes. Over 250 people in attendance!
· Our part in the 2020 VISION is to partner with Cal BUILD program support our school age children reach proficiency in reading by or before the 3rd grade. In 2014-15 48% of children maintained their level 3 proficiency; 28 are at Level 4 or above as a result of targeted tutoring sessions with children. None of our 65 school age children are below reading level!
· Two new board members joined the BAHIA board Irma Sanchez-Ledezma a former youth worker who worked in our office, and a former parent of our program who is a Social Worker by training and a Parent Advocate. Maria Cetto also joined the board she is a Professor at Mendocino Community College teaching Linguistics and also has extensive experience in training Bilingual Teachers at SFSU. We currently have another former parent on the list to be our treasure and who is an accountant.
· BAHIA was awarded by First Five the Community Target a two year grant to continue our program in Fremont, La Academia de Centro VIDA. Our notification came in April 2015 to continue our very well attended program for 40 children (all predominately Spanish-speaking). La Academia de Centro VIDA provides school readiness for preschooler’s ages 3 to 5 for 4 hours for 28 sessions and 14 parent education workshops in the year.
· BAHIA along with the City of Berkeley, Berkeley Unified School District and the University of California Berkeley participated in “Latino Heritage Month” celebration that included an organized Latino celebration in Downtown Berkeley on October 11, 2015
· BAHIA has been invited to apply for funding for repairs and renovation from Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) to address much needed repairs to facilities at our site where two programs share the site, Bahia School Age Program and La Academia de Bahia – our part-time preschool program. This project will require up to $100,000 in funds to address site needs.
We successfully refinanced the 1000 Camelia Street property and secured a 15 year loan that allowed us to not only reduce our monthly mortgage and save funds we were also able to consolidate debt; and provide some revenue to complete repairs to Centro VIDA.