TYLER, Texas – Mercedes Ojeda is in the seventh grade. She loves math, is on the swim team, plays the violin and takes advanced classes.
She also graduated from the first class to complete preschool at Niños de Promesa, a Buckner academic readiness program for preschoolers living in the Tyler area. When she entered kindergarten, she was ahead of the curve.
“Not a lot of kids know their alphabet before they started kindergarten,” Mercedes said. “I also learned how to read before I started kindergarten. I got taught my numbers before everyone else. That helped me, because I’m really good at math.”
Niños de Promesa was founded in 2004 by First Baptist Church of Tyler and now serves 85 children with more than 100 on the waiting list. Mercedes’ mom, Dora, has sent two of her three children to the program and couldn’t be happier.
“I could have put her in a regular daycare program, but the fact that Niños de Promesa is a bilingual school was good for me, because I wanted her to keep her native language,” Dora said. “And, of course, the academics that were being taught were important, because she was learning everything that would prepare her for kindergarten.”
Her youngest daughter, Rebekah, graduated from Niños de Promesa last year and is finishing kindergarten this year. She still talks about the things she learned in preschool, and she’s excelling in kindergarten today because of the head start she received.
“I believe it’s crucial that we invest in children’s education because they are our future leaders,” said Astilma Vargas, director of Niños de Promesa. “We give these children a great foundation and a good head start for their success throughout their years.”
Click here to learn more about Niños de Promesa, including ways you can get involved through your financial support.
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