Charlotte Bilingual Preschool prepares Spanish-speaking children for success in school and life by providing superior dual-language early childhood education. The preschool supports students’ families with parenting, life skills and English-language classes, enabling them to sustain and nurture their children’s educational and emotional development.
Charlotte Bilingual Preschool began in 1999 with a $100,000 grant from N.C. Smart Start. It was established after a study revealed that there were no preschools dedicated to serving the booming population of at-risk, Spanish-speaking children. A church offered free space, in close proximity to high concentrations of Latino families, and we began with 15 students.
Charlotte Bilingual Preschool had 3 goals: to involve parents in a partnership with the school as children’s primary teachers; to meet as much of the demand for bilingual, early childhood education as possible; to become an N.C. licensed preschool.
Today we’re successfully engaging parents as collaborators in helping to teach their children. We’re now serving 108 preschoolers, many more than when we began, but we know there are many more children in Charlotte who need our services. We’ve also worked to meet state licensing standards. When first-floor classroom space became available in 2012, Charlotte Bilingual Preschool met the final requirement. The school was awarded an N.C. four-star license in April 2013,and then a fifth star in September 2014, giving us the highest ranking by the North Carolina Division of Child Development.
When the school opened in 1999, it was named Central Avenue Bilingual Preschool (CABP) after the street where the school was first established. From 1999 to 2009, CABP grew from 15 students to 96, reaching capacity at its original location.
During the 2009-2010 school year, it expanded to a second location on a different street in another area of the city. In recognition of the school’s likely future growth to address the needs of Latino families throughout the city, the board changed the school’s name to Charlotte Bilingual Preschool in 2012.
Beginning in August 2015, our school is now located in Hickory Grove Elementary School Annex, where we are able to serve more children and expand our Parent Program.