An Even Start

by Jessica Cervantez

Nora Valdes is one of 30 students in the Even Start program. She has come a long way in the past year-and-a-half.

Valdes said, "I learned to speak English. I can write and read. I can understand in the stores and in the restaurants."

The program lets parents learn while their kids get training for school.

Bob Quillin, the director of the Adult Learning Center, said, "The parents are delivered by bus and we work with them everyday from 9:00 to 1:00, and the children are dropped off at Hackney school. There, teachers are helping prepare them for school."

The children are prepared for Pre-K. Parents get English language training, with some working toward their GED. Both parents and kids can then take their new knowledge, and help each other at home.

Dr. Marsha Glynn, the director of the Even Start program, said, "We always approach things with the idea that they're doing something really good for themselves and their children, and it is a family support system."

This all happens through the partnership of many agencies. The Even Start program teaches families like Nora's that it is never too early, or too late, to get out there and learn.