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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Preschool graduation ceremony held in Chula Vista

Mi Escuelita is a year-round preschool designed for children who have been exposed to domestic violence.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A super-hero themed graduation ceremony in Chula Vista Thursday morning honored some very special soon-to-be kindergarten students.

Mi Escuelita is a year-round preschool designed for children who have been exposed to domestic violence.

Organizers said kids have not only been through a lot, but they've accomplished a lot, too. That's why the school administration wanted to make them feel special.

A row of cars carrying 25 preschool graduates drove through the Mi Escuelita campus. Graduates were were greeted with gifts, cheers, and some of their their favorite super heroes, firefighters, and even "Frozen’s" Ana and Elsa.

"We're just hoping they feel really celebrated and proud of their accomplishments. They've all taken their kindergarten readiness test and they're ready to go," said Andrea Landis. 

Landis works for South Bay Community Services, the organization behind Mi Escuelita.

"We're really proud of this program. It's grown from one classroom to four classrooms in response to the need we've seen in the past," she said.

Students use the same curriculum all preschoolers do, with some added methods. Therapists are assigned to each classroom, and teachers rely on puppets, as well as Comfort Cubs, weighted bears that help kids deal with their feelings. Each kid has a Comfort Cub, and at the ceremony, they were given Comfort Cub coloring books so they can further the same type of conversations at home.

"They're able to vocalize what they're feeling and not feel ashamed or frightened by it," said one parent. 

Parents said discussing their child's feelings is more important now than ever before, especially given everything going on in the world, from COVID-19, to marches and rallies calling for an end to racism.

"They genuinely care about the kids and the kids learn a lot, they learn so much-respect, to care about other people's feelings, they learn how to express their own feelings," said one parent.

The majority of these kids will stay within the Chula Vista Elementary School District.

A big congratulations to all the graduates!