Preschools for African-American Kids
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Preschools for African-American Kids
I'm starting to look into pre-schools for my mixed race son (1/2
black, 1/2 white) and have been discouraged by what appears to be
a lack of diversity in the schools I'm considering. I don't need
a huge percentage of African-American presence, but I'd like for
my son not to be the token black kid. Can anyone suggest a
school for us? (I'm in El Cerrito, so would prefer to be
somewhere in EC, Berkeley area.)
discouraged in EC
Wee Lil People Preschool
in Oakland on Alma St. (near Lake Merritt) is fabulous. I have
one son that goes there now and one son that graduated from there a few years ago.
It's predominately African American and the staff is great with kids. The kids learn
Spanish everyday and they have an exceptional academic program. We love it and
highly recommend it. Their phone number is (510) 433-0288. Good Luck.
Try Claremont Day in Kensington.
It's VERY diverse, both students
and staff. It's wonderful.
I think that the Children's Community Center
in Berkeley does a
pretty good job of keeping both the student population and the
staff pretty diverse. Only problem is they usually have a long
waiting list! It still might be worth giving them a call even if
it's just for a referral. Speaking as a teacher who runs a small
program in Berkeley, I have to say that I too am discouraged and
disapointed by the lack of diversity in my program (as well as
most others that I have seen) despite my best efforts. Nobody
wants to be the ''token'' anything, but sometimes it takes just one
person to encourage others. Once enrolled, a parent can refer
other friends and family thus enlarging the diversity of the
population. I think creating diversity is a community effort and
we all have an important part to play to make it work.
-Wanting More Diversity Too!!
You should consider Claremont Day Nursery in Kensington, just off
the Colusa Circle. ''Kensington?'' I hear you saying. But yes,
this is a great little gem of a preschool, with a very diverse
group of kids. First of all, the head teacher and on-site
manager is an African-American woman who has been a teacher there
for more than 30 years. My kids absolutely adore her. They give
her a hug and tell her they love her every day before leaving.
She has an incredible way with kids, and was great with my two
wild boys. Her daughter now also teaches there, and I think has
developed into a great teacher. Aside from the teaching staff,
there are several African-American children. I am not sure how
many -- not a lot -- but definitely more than 1 or 2. There are
also Latino kids, lots of Asian kids, and lots of European kids
(whose parents may be affiliated with UCB, I suppose). I
regularly hear French, German, and Italian being spoken by
parents during pick-up time. There are also kids with two
Mommies, although I am unaware of any kids with two Daddies.
There are professional parents, and parents who pick their kids
up in the delivery truck they drive for work. Definitely a place
of diversity. My son's best friends at the school are a little
boy from France, and a little girl who is half Asian and half
Loves Claremont Day
Have you considered Pacific Academy
located on Carlson Blvd and
Burlingame St. (510.526.7847) The school is wonderfully
diverse - over a majority are kids of color and mixed
heritages. My son's pre-K class before the June graduation had
5 African American kids incl. mixed out of the total 20 full-
time and partime students. Not sure what the diversity is in
the younger classes but you should check it out. Email me with
any questions. Good luck.
i know e.c. people are used to looking south, but there are 2 good preschools i know of
where mixed race kids would be nothing special. one is
noah's ark in richmond just
off barrett on 38th st. the other is la casita in pinole, about 15 minutes up the road.
l.c. is a bilingual montessori program. last year we had 3 mixed race kids, about 1/2
latino, the rest split between asian and caucasian. we had a couple of e.c. families.
As the parent of a biracial child now long finished preschool,
if you are concerned about the diversity of the preschool then
check the US Census data for the school's zip code. If the zip
code has, for example, 10% middle-class children of color, then
you should expect the school to have about the same, 1 in 10
students of color. So 1 in 10 would not be a token, it would
reflect the diversity of the area.
P.S. Once kids start preschool and start choosing their own
friends, I have found race doesn't even factor in, it is based
more on common interests and temperment.
Have you looked into the Nomura Pacific Academy? They are on
Carlson, right on the El Cerrito/Richmond border. We love the
school and feel it has a nice mix of ethnicity, not only among
their students but with their staff as well. Feel free to
contact me if you have questions.
Check out Step One School in North Berkeley. The school is
committed to diversity. This is reflected in the families
attending, the teachers and the curriculum.
Another mom of a mixed race son
Can someone recommend a Berkeley preschool that is racially
diverse? My son is 2 years old and African American. I am having
a hard time finding a school that is 'truly' diverse in its
student and teacher population.
My son goes to The Snuggery on McGee near University. The
Snuggery, although it seems to have a lot of girls right now, is
really a very diverse place. My son has and has had friends who
are white, black, asian, female, male, foreign--you name it. The
staff is also diverse (black, white, asian, hispanic) and the
school's curriculum focuses on celebrating a wide variety of
holidays and events (e.g. Black History Month, Lunar New Year,
Cinco de Mayo, etc.).
New School, on Bonita at Cedar is as diverse as any private
preschool I've seen, in both students and staff. The staff has a
good gender diversity, too.
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