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Great teaching is so much more than mere education. It’s about a community. It’s about multicultural equity and understanding. It’s about building safe spaces. It’s about social justice.
And for…my 3-year-old, Joyce is a safe space. In Joyce, my daughter can embrace her language. She can embrace her culture. She is not afraid of coming every day through that door and being herself. Speaking whatever words that she learns about, or singing her songs, or wearing her cultural attire. She can be herself.
There was a time when we couldn’t do that. I know what it is to be in a classroom where you’re fearful of what your history is, of what your stories and your family mean. My daughter doesn’t have to feel that fear in this space.
My daughter is the first one who came to preschool. I see her language acquisition, I see her social interactions, I see her playful, I see a lot of things that she can only learn because she has been part of this great community that is Joyce.
Emilia Gonzalez Avalos
It was really important to [my family] to live in the city. We chose an urban life. We want our boys to see a global world, to have two languages, to know other cultures, to not be so myopic, to get out of their parents’ zip code. We want to open the door for them.
Joyce is a great beginning for other parents thinking about that. If you’re toying with it, it’s a great way to see how that will fit, to try that on you kid, on your family, and see how that fits. For us, Joyce has been a great fit.
I think that something is happening at Joyce that doesn’t happen other places. [In] any institution or any organization you can run into anyone who’s really qualified and really caring just sort of randomly. But, I think it says something broader when there’s all that…in every interaction no matter where you turn. That quality and caring and respectful type of interaction. That says something about what’s happening from the top down, and all the way down to the children.
Rebecca Nathan Marshall
Perhaps most important to our family is that Joyce Preschool is a dual-immersion program, meaning that our son is surrounded by peers that look and speak like him. His pride in being Venezuelan has been fostered and, as parents, we are thankful.
The fact that he speaks Spanish and is Latino is not just a novelty that sets him apart in Minnesota. Joyce Preschool has reinforced that these things are who he is; one part of his whole, beautiful self.