El Centrito Family Learning Centers

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El Centrito Board of Directors Announces Executive Director Transition


El Centrito Family Learning Centers’ Board of Directors has announced the departure of founder and long-time executive director, Luann Rocha. For nearly 22 years, Luann guided the agency’s growth and passionately communicated the agency’s mission and vision. However, following her recent sabbatical, Luann made the decision to explore new career opportunities making money from web site. The board is grateful for Luann’s pioneering vision and years of dedicated service. The El Centrito family wishes her the best as she explores these new opportunities and continues her path of service to the community. El Centrito’s board and staff remain wholly committed to continue the agency’s mission and are humbled by the opportunity and inspired by the responsibility to carry out this important work.

Together, El Centrito’s Board of Directors and staff have built innovative programs that respond to the needs of the community. During the transition, El Centrito will continue offering bilingual and bicultural educational services including effective preschool programs, unique after school enrichment programs, and highly regarded parent education and leadership projects. Our agency motto, “Where families learn together” has guided El Centrito’s programs, which have served 23,055 people, including 14,986 children and 8,069 adults.

Board President Nancy Switzler and the members of the board have appointed Joseph Castañeda to continue serving as El Centrito’s executive director during the interim period. Joseph has been with El Centrito for over six years and has served as executive director during the sabbatical. The board is eager to begin the search for a permanent executive director who will lead the agency into the future. As we look forward, the board and staff are committed to continue building a strong learning community that offers high quality educational programs and works collaboratively throughout Ventura County.

El Centrito’s Board of Directors and management team are enthusiastic about utilizing this transition period to strategically expand the agency’s impact and deepen its commitment to serve the community. The transition in leadership follows several years of succession planning and extensive preparation. El Centrito’s board and staff are well equipped to continue the tradition of providing exceptional services to our community.

El Centrito is grateful to the community and to its collaborative partners and funders for their ongoing support. El Centrito is committed to ensuring how do you make money from a website a smooth transition and asks for renewed commitments to see El Centrito as an integral partner in working with youth and families to meet the future. If any questions arise during this transition, please feel free to contact Joseph Castañeda (805) 483-8685 (jcastaneda@elcentrito.org).


Goodbye Letter from Luann Rocha


October 8, 2013

Dear El Centrito Family and Friends,

After 21 incredible years of serving the children and families of El Centrito Family Learning Centers, I’ve decided that it is time to depart as Executive Director. I am entering a new phase in my journey through life, and it is time for me to open myself to new opportunities, and venture into different directions. I have just completed a four month sabbatical which provided me with some quiet time to reflect on where I would like to go. This sabbatical journey has encouraged me to seek new challenges and be open to exploring different ways that I can deliver community service, and use my skills and talents to lead and build communities.

My husband Jesus and I, as fellow social workers, co-founded El Centrito because we wanted to give back to the community and create a grass roots organization that operated high quality programs and respected the culture and language of the community we served. In 1992, after two years of planning, we opened El Centrito with three volunteers, a $2,000 budget, and operated out of one classroom. Today, in 2013, El Centrito operates with a one million dollar budget, has 21 employees, serves over 1,000 children and families each year, and runs four service sites located throughout Oxnard. El Centrito’s programs have been recognized for their high quality and innovation by public and private funders and community partners.

I recognize that it is time to give El Centrito back to the community. All good social workers strive to work themselves out of a job. It is my turn to work myself out of a job, and leave this strong and sustainable organization in the hands of the community. It is now time for the community to hold the torch, and ensure that El Centrito’s mission is carried on.

Thank you for all your support and kindness over the past 21 years, and supporting the mission of El Centrito Family Learning Centers. I will enjoy watching El Centrito continue to grow and evolve.

Best Regards,

Luann Rocha


Mission Statement:

  Our mission is to prepare the youth and families of Ventura County to meet the future and become productive members of the community by providing bilingual, bicultural family and youth educational programs in partnership with parents, schools, and neighborhoods.

Focus Statement:

  Founded in 1992, El Centrito Family Learning Centers is a community based non-profit organization located in Oxnard, California. We offer bilingual educational services for low income children and families and promote the educational success English language learning families, by delivering early education, family literacy, after school, and parent leadership services.