Escuelita Agüeybana Day Care Centers Records Open for Research
Northeastern University Libraries is pleased to announce that the historical records of Escuelita Agüeybana Day Care Centers (Escuelita) have been organized, and a guide to the collection is available online at http://www.lib.neu.edu/archives/collect/findaids/m116find.htm.
In 1976 in Boston's South End, a group of parents living in Villa Victoria--a community development that combines housing, commercial space and social services, and is a model of community empowerment and neighborhood preservation--met to discuss their need for day care. These parents, who were in the process of becoming economically self-sufficient, worked together to establish Escuelita Agüeybana, the first bilingual day care center in Massachusetts to serve primarily Hispanic children and their families. The center, which opened its doors in 1978, was funded by the City of Boston Public Welfare Department, and Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion (IBA) acted as its fiscal agent. Escuelita was a Head Start program, a national program that provided comprehensive educational services to low income preschool children and their families. Incorporated in 1981, Escuelita opened another center in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1985. Throughout the 1990s, Escuelita experienced a succession of interim directors and compliance violations from funding agencies. As a result, Escuelita began discussing the possibility of merging with IBA; however, the loss of funding and the inability to hire a permanent executive director caused the both centers to close in 1996 before the merger could be completed.
The 5 cubic feet of material dates from 1978 through 1996 and covers research topics, such as bilingual and multicultural education, Head Start programs, Hispanic American child day care, and child nutrition and health. The records specifically document the centers' curriculum development, services for children and families, parental involvement in establishing center policies, and efforts to comply with federal and state child day care regulations. The records are in English with some Spanish interspersed.
The collection is open for research Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., in the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Department, 92 Snell Library, Boston, Massachusetts, http://www.lib.neu.edu/archives/. The collection was processed with funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and it contributes to the University Archives and Special Collection Department's collecting focus on records of private, non-profit, community-based organizations that are concerned with social justice issues. View a list of the Department's special collections here.