top of page

Preschool Without Walls (PWW) at LLA Cinco

Lake Los Angeles – Pictured are some members of the dedicated compassionate group of Preschool Without Walls (PWW) teachers who dedicate so much of their time and energy for their students. CHIRLA joined the group for the Cinco de Mayo parade on Saturday May 7. After the parade they all walked back to meet and chat with the parade’s Grand Marshal Supervisor Kathryn Barger, pictured.

Preschool Without Walls, a project of Strength Based Community Change, is a parent-child early education program in accessible community locations. SBCC and PWW focus on educational enrichment for children ages 0-5 which benefits both, parents and child. PWW teaches kids in a fun and creative way.

PWW addresses the fact that 80% of the most vulnerable children in Los Angeles County are not attending, and will never attend, preschool due to costs and other barriers. The huge gap in accessibility is closed with PWW.

The results of the work that is done reveals itself when the children start Kindergarten ready to go to school, prepared in social skills and comfortable in a classroom setting, particularly without a parent in the classroom with them. Everything about a formal school classroom seems “normal” to them.

The following is what is on the PWW website: “Preschool Without Walls (PWW) provides a participatory, parent-child early learning program in accessible community locations including parks, libraries, community centers, and faith institutions. All sessions and printed materials are presented in English and Spanish. Parents form relationships with other parents centered on resources to support early learning, child development skills and activities to replicate at home, and a collective commitment to serve as their child's first and lifelong educator. The development of parent and caregiver capacity to facilitate healthy attachment and bonding with children is at the center of this program, which also includes an organizing role centered on long-term transformation of the community institutions where the program takes place into robust resources supporting child development and early learning.

Parents also develop their individual skills to educate young children, with focused support for early literacy and school readiness, early social skills development, and healthy physical activity and nutrition. Some parents grow in this role to take on positions as assistant teachers in the program. PWW has been demonstrated to support key parent and child "protective factors" contributing to health, safety, and overall well-being, and to lead to key gains in child motor, cognitive, and social-emotional development.”

PWW strategic plan for the current program year includes extending PWW to build networks of informal and license-exempt childcare providers, helping to build a movement toward quality and a commitment to child development in these settings that serve half or more of all low-income children.

Erika Schwerdt said of CHIRLA joining in on the parade, "SBCC's Preschool without walls parents joined CHIRLA of the Antelope Valley members because part of our core values includes teaching our children to advocate for what is right, to love all people and come together in unity." The support and concern for educating children are equal.

Erika is a Community Organizer in the Antelope Valley for Strength Based Community Change (SBCC).

At each graduation in the past, the excitement is electric and emotional. The students wear a handmade graduation cap, prepared by the SBCC staff and parents, the cap being paper holding as much meaning as the most expensive fabric available. The graduations have been drive-through with a spot for a photo op along the route. Now it can be in real time and in person. On May 19, SBCC will hold their 2021-2022 graduation ceremony for their little students at the Chimbole Center in Palmdale. Joining in the transition to kindergarten and preschool will be the little students from Save the Children in Lake Los Angeles. A special surprise musical presentation from two dads will surely delight the graduates.

By Shirley Harriman


bottom of page