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Mental Health in Texas

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My wife and I are lifelong residents of inner-city Houston, attending local East End’s public elementary schools, Burnet Elementary and Brisco Elementary, respectively. As a product of inner-city schools, we were very fortunate to have had some very dedicated teachers in our developmental years. However, it is no secret that times have changed, and with this, our educational system as well has seen its better times.

Being taught the value of volunteering and being of service to my community, I had the fortunate opportunity several years ago, to participate in a service project benefitting CFC’s Los Niño’s Early Childhood Center. Through my affiliation with the service organization, Rotary International, and unbeknownst to me, I learned that this “unknown gem”, otherwise known as Los Niños, had been in our community for several years, serving children of families of low income and of often times impoverished living conditions. Another item worth outlining, I came to learn that Los Niños offered a method of Montessori instruction to these children. To my knowledge at that time, the Montessori model, although originally intended for low income children, served primarily affluent populations in the United States. Seeing this program offered at this school came as a surprise to me. Needless to say, I was moved and touched that an organization would seek to go out of the traditional model of impacting children’s lives, by opting to offer a proven educational model, such as the Montessori curriculum.

Today, with several years having passed, my opinion of the unbelievable and compassionate work performed by the excellent staff and overwhelmingly caring and qualified teachers, is at an all time high.

When my wife and I were blessed with our own children, John Paul and Susie, there was little discussion as to where and whom our children would be entrusted to for their educational development when the opportunity presented itself. With our son, John Paul, a Pre-K student, being diagnosed two years ago, with a social anxiety disorder known as “Selective Mutism”, the teachers and staff exceeded their responsibilities in creating an environment that made learning fun for him, despite his disorder. They have given so much of their time in addressing his needs. His own teacher in particular, has gone to the point of scheduling home visits with John Paul, as well as consulting with his therapist at Texas Children’s Hospital. The miraculous progress John Paul has made is attributed to collaborative efforts between his therapist and the Los Ninos' staff. I truly believe this success would not have been realized in the manner that we have witnessed, had John Paul been enrolled with a public school program. John Paul is more confident than ever, socially more comfortable, and academically prepared for the next level (First Grade), all because of Los Niños. In addition, Los Niños continues to challenge him in all areas of learning, in an environment that is conducive to his learning style. Our daughter Susie, a pre-kinder level student is reading at a 2nd grade level and possesses leadership skills, talents, and academic potential that were recognized instantaneously by the teachers at Los Niños. They continue to challenge her in a manner that brings about self-confidence and productivity. A local private school recently recognized Susie’s abilities and offered to accept her and double promote her to the next level grade upon entering their program and finishing her curriculum at Los Niños.

Although my wife and I pay monthly tuition for the excellent education our children are receiving at Los Niño’s, I know that most parents’ children attending Los Niños do not have the resources or the ability to fund their children’s education. Some of these parents are undoubtedly living in what we in the United States consider poverty levels. Some are not equipped with the writing and/or verbal skills of the English language, much less possess formal job skill training. This is why my wife and I have decided to not only place our children in this tremendous educational learning environment, but to also do what we can to assist with fundraising opportunities for Los Niños in order to make a difference in the lives of other children. We have been blessed by Los Niños and it remains our desire to help bless others.

In retrospect, the many happy children and parents I witnessed at that time while visiting at Los Niños years ago, I must admit I saw hope in their eyes-hope for their future and hope for their lives. It reminded me of the same hope my family of eleven, had as we were growing up in this neighborhood. Our schools back then gave us a vision of hope, understanding, respect, and dignity amongst one another for our futures. Because of this vision that was taught in our early years, my wife and I were fortunate to surpass our parents’ educational level by attaining baaculaureate level degrees. These same taught values still ring the halls at a little known hidden early childhood school in our inner city, better known as Los Niños.

Please help us to continue to share the mission of Los Niños, which is to offer a proven Montessori program for children of low income parents and enrich the lives of families in our neighborhood, especially those living in poverty. With your support and generosity, we can all truly make a difference.


John H. Proud Parent of Children at Los Niños


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7524 Avenue E • Houston, TX 77012 • (Tel) 713-923-2316

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