Minneapolis, MN – Hiawatha Academies and Joyce Preschool will join forces next fall as Joyce opens a bilingual preschool program at Hiawatha Leadership Academy-Northrop.

Hiawatha Academies and Joyce Preschool have been exploring the possibility of a partnership for the past two years. This year, the two organizations decided to move forward with a collaboration that will benefit the neighborhood, Hiawatha families, and staff by offering quality pre-k programming in English and Spanish at one of Hiawatha Academies’ four schools.

“  Joyce’s two-way immersion model helps children build a strong foundation for school in two languages, and we are thrilled to partner with an organization such as Hiawatha Academies that is committed to the success of every child. Together we will have an even greater long-term impact for families. ” stated Joyce Preschool, Executive Director, Laura Tompkins.

Hiawatha Academies will be the third site for Joyce Preschool offering two-way immersion, Spanish-English pre-k programming for children ages three to five. While its other preschool sites are part-time, the Joyce-Hiawatha program will offer families choices ranging from half-day to full-day care from two to five days a week.

“This partnership opens the door to a unique opportunity for our communities to start with us earlier and be served by a program with a great track record of success in preparing children for kindergarten”, said HLA-Northrop, Principal, Daniela Vasan.

As a network of public charter schools in South Minneapolis, Hiawatha Academies estimates only about 17% of their scholars come to the network kindergarten-ready. “Our hope is to close yet another gap for families and diversify our schools by having a bilingual program that attracts both native and non-native Spanish speakers,” said Senior Director of Enrollment, Libby Stegger. “Our schools welcome all children, and now we have an opportunity to welcome them even earlier through Joyce”.

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