February 15, 2024

There are few things better in this world than little-kid giggles. You know the kind. They range from quiet chuckles to full on belly laughs.They’re so funny and infectious. Spend a few minutes inside City Preschool, and you’ll hear all the sounds of childhood, in about five different languages. 

When I started as City of Refuge’s School Liaison in December of 2020, I got lots of questions from parents about preschool. Moms and dads wanted their kids to interact with other children their age, and these parents seemed to have an urgent desire for their kids to learn English. It was at that point that my dream of building a preschool was born. For sure, I’m not the first to envision a preschool for children of refugees, so I’m incredibly thankful that I was given the opportunity and capacity to put legs to the vision. When Debbie became our new Executive Director, she challenged our staff to join her in dreaming big. So, when she asked what my dreams were, I told her that I wanted to give parents what they’d been consistently asking for: a preschool. For me, it was important that we build something, not just for refugee children but for the children and families of our entire community. 

Now that we have almost a month under our belt, this dream is already producing even more than I imagined. Parents are sticking around in the foyer and the parking lot, getting to know each other. Moms and dads are bringing snacks, donating supplies and thanking us for opening our doors. Refugee moms are bringing their children to City Preschool, trusting us to care for them and to teach them while they themselves go to City of Refuge to take English classes, use the driving simulator and create artisan projects. This is beyond anything I dreamed or imagined. It’s humbling to be part of a mission that impacts people’s lives in such immediate and long-lasting ways.

At City Preschool we share: stories, smiles and toys. Songs, laughs, new words, questions. Thank you for all that you share with us so that we can give to our communities precious children. . We are building a community that is building a future better than any of us can imagine. 

Candace Hulsizer

Director of Education

City Preschool Updates

Our Preschool application for Fall 2024 is open. Please spread the word! And check out the article below that the Columbia Missourian did on our opening. 

Looking for ways to plug in?

We have a variety of ways you can partner with us in the next few months!

You can now register for our 2nd annual Poem-a-thon! Sign up to write EVERY DAY in April, find some friends to sponsor you, and know you are helping make a difference.

We are looking for more English Buddy volunteers! This is one of the best ways to really know, walk alongside, and have a truly cross-cultural (and life-changing!) experience.

We have just released our 2024 Sponsorship Packages and would love for you to consider how your business/organization can partner this upcoming year. 

Thank you for Supporting City of Refuge!

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