Mom couldn’t find inclusive preschool for her child with special needs, so she opened one in El Paso
EL PASO – After her daughter was born five years ago with Down syndrome, local educator Kerry McKee began an extensive search for special education opportunities for children with the genetic condition.
She searched with no luck for schools in the El Paso area that catered to children like her daughter and discovered that Down syndrome children often were placed in separate classrooms.
She even considered moving to another city in Texas with special facilities and learning opportunities for children with special needs.
“I said, that’s not the education my child is going to have,” said Mckee, who has worked for 20 years in the field of education.
According to the National Down Syndrome Society, approximately one in every 700 babies in the U.S. is born with Down syndrome – or about 6,000 each year.
Finally, after visiting the KinderFrogs School in Fort Worth, an inclusive program designed for children with disabilities, she decided El Paso needed a program like it.
With financial support from the Down Syndrome Coalition for El Paso and the El Paso Community Foundation, a year ago her dream came true when she opened the Every Little Blessing Preschool program located in the Mesa Plaza Shopping Center on North Mesa near Hobby Lobby. The program now enrolls 15 children between 18 months and five years of age.
“It was a coming together of everybody at just the right time,” said Mckee of her efforts to seek local support for the special school.