Sabela was three years old and didn’t speak English when she entered the Kent Valley Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program in the fall of 2015. Her home language is Tigrinya. At first, she didn’t observe what the other children did. She went from toy basket to toy basket dumping everything on the floor and then would run away without playing with anything.

As the year progressed, she learned a few English words. I was surprised when asking the other children about the alphabet that she knew all the upper case letters. Teaching Sabela social skills and how to play with others took more time.

At the end of the year, Sabela spoke many English words and entered group play with appropriate language and social skills. She would even show empathy to a child who had been hurt.

Sabela’s experience in preschool this was a success. She learned English, social skills with children her age, classroom procedures, and developed friendships. We are excited to see the growth she will have next year in her preparation for kindergarten.


-Kent Youth and Family Services