ABREN'S PRESCHOOL IN CASA MARGARITA
Early childhood is a critical time of development and learning. ABREN has always recognized the importance of this age group and has offered preschool programs since the year the original library openned its doors. In 2004 a dedicated group of parents felt passionately that they wanted our program to be granted full licensure and plead their case many times to the Ministry of Education. They recognized the quality of our program and wanted their children to be able to continue at ABREN through kindergarden. Pressured by parents, we eventually got our license and celebrated our first graduating class in the fall of 2005.
Excellence in Early Childhood Education
Although the Ministry of Education was recluctant to support our program at first, within a few years they revised their opinion: unlike at other preschools our parents were consistently pleased and appreciative of our program, our teachers consistently implemented the curriculum using the new constructist methods requested by the Ministry of Education, and first grade teachers started to comment about how well prepared students were who came from our program. Now, we enjoy full support from the Ministry of Education which frequently uses our program as an example of exemplary work in preschool education.
Built in 2007 by the volunteer labor of the community of Pueblo Nuevo, Casa Margarita more than doubles the space available at the children’s library. Now young children ages 3-8 have a space specifically designed to meet their needs, where they can explore and learn without disrupting the studies of older students. Librarian Nolvia Huete has taken on the role of director of this new center. Each afternoon she plans hands-on activities that promote educational as well as socio-emotional development in the areas of literacy, math and self-expression.
Casa Margarita was created in memory of Margaret Langsdorf, Kristina Underdal’s grandmother who loved children and stories and who supported ABREN’s work from its inception. Casa Margarita’s name also honors the famed Nicaraguan poet, Rubén Darío, whose magical children’s poem “Margarita” is painted around the interior walls, surrounding these young children as they read and learn.