As the city prepares for the second year of Pre-K 4 SA, its early childhood measure, two more centers will be opening.
Christina Reck-Guerra (West Side) and Janice Hammonds (East Side) will guide the new education centers as Pre-K 4 SA expands, bringing the total number of centers to the program's maximum of four.
Hammonds comes from the Austin Independent School District where's she has served 27 years, most recently as the principal of an early childhood education center.
Reck-Guerra has spent her 23-year education career as a principal, assistant principal and first and second grade teacher in the Northeast and Comal Independent School Districts.
Reck-Guerra said she's a big believer in building a strong foundation early and has worked in schools that serve children from low socioeconomic backgrounds, similar to the children who will attend the West center.
"What we find is a lot of our children are coming to school and they're not ready for school like the children who are coming from middle-class families, because they have a lack of experiences, there's a lack of print in their homes, there's not a lot of resources for reading," Reck-Guerra said. "So what I've learned in my years of teaching and in administration is how really important that foundation is and I know that we have to start as early as we can."
Reck-Guerra said her experience will help her relate to Spanish-speaking families on the West Side because she has worked with bilingual students.
The city council is following the progress of the first two centers and will begin receiving reports on how the centers performed in their first year.
Researchers will also follow students who attended one of the two centers through third grade to give city leaders a look at how the program made an impact compared to other students who did not attend Pre-K 4 SA. That should occur in the 2017-2018 school year.
In 2012, San Antonio voters approved the program to run for eight years with a sales tax increase to fund the program.