"We are thrilled with this new educational center and the supportive
turnout we have received on such a beautiful day," said Donna Stapleton,
the coordinator of preschools and school readiness programs for the Ocean
View School District.
The center is a collaboration between Ocean View School District, the
Huntington Beach Union High School District, UC Irvine, Children and
Families Commission of Orange County and Jeanne Hardy Head Start.
The center will serve as a preschool and adult education facility
sharing one location. The preschool will offer free half-day classes to
3- and 4-year-old children of qualifying low-income families who use
English as a second language. The goal of the program is to provide
youngsters with the skills needed as they begin preparation for
That leaves three classrooms available for the Huntington Beach High
School Adult School, which offers classes in English as a second
language, a general education degree, computer and math classes.
"The Oak View Preschool, one of the first such programs in the state,
shows Ocean View School District's commitment to creating unique
environments for learning," said Supt. James Tarwater.
In a speech at the opening ceremony event, that was translated into
Spanish, Tarwater touted the opening as one of the proudest moments in
his 36 years in education.
The UCI department of education, in conjunction with the preschool and
Huntington Beach Adult School, is conducting a language and literacy
development research project targeting Oak View preschool children and
their parents who attend English as a Second Language classes. The
program is the first of its kind in Orange County, Stapleton said.
"The challenges they may face in the future can be difficult but these
children can do it," he said.
Stapleton said that the family-like atmosphere that surrounds Oak View
is what will help make the new center a success.
"This became a realization because of the hard work of so many
people," said Stapleton.