Children exposed to traumatic events are more likely to experience an array of difficulties throughout their lifetime, including delays in development, challenges in education and health issues.

However, early intervention, care and support can positively impact the course of a child’s life.

Recognizing a need to break the cycle, South Bay Community Services created a unique educational institution that helps San Diego’s most vulnerable children develop and thrive. Mi Escuelita Preschool is a safe haven for children referred by San Diego County child welfare services, health centers, law enforcement and community-based programs, providing free year-round, full-day preschool services to local families.

Using holistic approaches to both education and caregiving, the Mi Escuelita team addresses the needs and challenges facing students in the classroom, while providing coping and behavioral skills for students to practice outside of school.

Thanks to support from The San Diego Foundation Early Childhood Education & Development Program and the Guy C. Clum Fund, Mi Escuelita recently expanded its facility to provide even more children with access to critical academic and developmental support.

Celebrating Youth Development

At its recent graduation event, 35 students from Mi Escuelita Preschool crossed the stage in caps and gowns, with their teachers and families looking on. The ceremony was a representation of their hard work inside and outside of the classroom.

Community partners celebrated the expansion of the Mi Escuelita preschool.

Community partners celebrated the expansion of the Mi Escuelita preschool.

“While we can never erase what our children have experienced in their short lives, we can provide Mi Escuelita,” shared South Bay Community Services President & CEO Kathryn Lembo. “Together, we are providing a safe place to move through the pain, to reteach them how to love, and to get the right start for school. It’s healing and hope for the whole family.”

After the students received their “diplomas,” community leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly expanded Mi Escuelita facility. Thanks to the $1.7 million grant, the preschool will be able to admit hundreds more children in the future.

“Guy Clum paved the way for dozens more children in the South Bay to access high quality care and education each year,” said Katie Rast, Director of Community Impact at The San Diego Foundation. “The community benefits from the compassion of donors, and the funds provide ‘boots on the ground’ impact in more ways than one.”

Make A Lasting Impact

Mi Escuelita is one example of the many impactful programs in San Diego that are helping to educate and develop the next generation.

Leveraging support from the Guy C. Clum Fund and other philanthropists, The San Diego Foundation Early Childhood Education & Development Program is committed to expanding expanded access to quality, affordable early childhood education and developmental care in the San Diego region, particularly for those children and families who need it most.

Support the Early Childhood Education & Development Program to provide more San Diego children with critical support and resources they need to thrive now, as well as later in life.

Support Early Childhood Education & Development