With the opening of a new K-5 campus in the Bachman Lake area, Uplift looks forward to teaming with local community organizations to serve neighborhood families. One organization that has been doing so for the last three years is the Bachman Lake Community School.
Bachman Lake Community School is the third campus of the 36-year-old East Dallas Community School. It began in spring of 2009 as part of the Zero to Five Funders Collaborative—27 foundations and civic organizations that have come together to change the future of children ages zero to five in the Bachman Lake Community.
As one of four agencies funded by the collaborative, Bachman Lake Community School initially used the Parents as Teachers home visiting curriculum and focused on child development, nutrition, and motor development for thirty families in the area. Within nine months it expanded from an “in home” program to a multi-disciplinary program with medical, social services, and mental health components for 140 children. Sixteen of those 140 families also attend a Montessori classroom experience two days a week year-round. In addition, 50 families in the three to five age-ranges are served in home visits.
The program’s profound effect on families can be illustrated in the story of Maria and Jorge, proud parents of 28-month-old Juan and 5-month-old Robert. When Maria’s in-home parent educator spoke of the Montessori approach to learning, Maria was disappointed because she believed such methods were only available to children from high income families. Maria was excited to learn that her parent educator could bring Montessori practices into her own home. Maria’s parent educator coached her on how to guide little Juan through a table-setting activity, allowing him ownership of his learning. However, Juan soon became distracted because the table and chairs were in such disrepair that the activity could not continue. Realizing the importance of the home environment, Juan’s father took the initiative to build the entire family a brand new table and chairs. Juan now sets the table, names the dishes and silverware, and even teaches the activity to his younger brother.
Program Director Jodi Campbell commented, “Our success has to do with the relationship the educator has with the family, to get the family to implement whatever needs to happen. Our focus in on parents becoming a child’s first teacher always.”Uplift is honored to be joining such efforts to educate children and families in the Bachman Lake community as our new school, Uplift Triumph, opens in the fall of 2013.