When the Parker School closed Watetown officials sold the building and it was turned into office space. Now, a new childcare center will bring education back to the former school on Watertown Street, and offers an unusual feature – bilingual education.
School founder Monica Ryan has run a home-based child care in Brighton for the past seven years, and when she decided to expand she and her husband Bruce found the spot in the Parker School Building to open Strawberry Child Care.
“We wanted to be in Watertown, because we already had a couple families from Watertown,” Monica said. “This space became available, and it is such a great place.”
Another advantage of the location is the proximity next to Casey Park.
“It has a great play structure, and there is so much space,” Bruce said. “It is so well maintained by the town.”
The location is convenient to the Mass. Pike, and is near Newton, as well, Bruce said.
The school serves children ages 2 months to 5 years old, and from the start they learn in Spanish, Monica said.
“It’s immersion. They come to school and all day long, all the activities are in Spanish,” said Monica, who came to the Boston area from Venezuela 20 years ago.
Learning a second language at a young age comes naturally for children, Monica said.
“The students in Brighton are bilingual,” Monica said. “We have even had students translate for their parents when they go to Spanish-speaking countries.”
The school opened recently and currently occupies one room in the Parker School Building, but Strawberry Child Care will soon take over most of the bottom floor.
“We will have six classrooms in total with 60 children,” Monica said. “We will also have a common space that can be a gym to use for soccer, gymnastics, yoga, or other activities.”
The school also got a nice reception when they first came to Watertown.
“When we went to Town Hall to get permits people said, ‘It’s so great there will be a school there again. I went to school there year’s ago,’” Monica said.