CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Music renditions, string performances, art exhibitions and campus tours! Those were some of the highlights at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Blanche Davis Moore Early Child Development Center (ECDC) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, held in the ECDC library on Dec. 9.
The ECDC is an elementary school serving students K-3 through sixth grade and is jointly operated by the Corpus Christi Independent School District (CCISD) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. One of ECDC’s many attractions is that the school presents its entire curriculum via dual language instruction. This means enrolled students get the advantage of becoming bilingual, as half of instructional time is in English while the other half is in Spanish.
“We’re excited about our 20-year anniversary,” said Dr. Criselda Castillo, Principal of the ECDC. “When this school was established, it had a mission to develop children who are proficient in English and Spanish as part of the dual language program. I believe we have been successful in this venture.”
Roman Deleon, a sixth grade student at the ECDC, couldn’t agree more and gushed about his school and teachers.
“I love my school. I can’t believe it has been here for 20 years,” said Deleon. “I like how nice the teachers are here and how we are like one big family.”
It’s not surprising to hear the ECDC students give their school glowing remarks. Last year, the ECDC was recognized as a Texas Honor Roll school and students have recorded outstanding marks on their State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests.
“We continue to thrive, not only in the dual-language program, but also in the arts as well,” said Castillo. “I always hear positive feedback from colleagues about ECDC students, even well after their graduation.”
Dr. Frank Lucido, Professor of Education at the Island University, who also works with the ECDC, believes the dual-language program is the greatest accomplishment achieved by the school.
“The Spanish-speaking students, who come here with knowledge of only their home language, are fully literate in English by the second grade,” said Lucido. “That’s a great accomplishment because in most other schools, it takes children several more years to become biliterate.”