El Centrito Family Learning Centers

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About Us

About El Centrito

Centrito Family Learning Center is a bilingual, bicultural community center located in Oxnard, California, with service sites in La Colonia community and downtown Oxnard. El Centrito serves youth and families, especially youth at risk of low academic achievement, school drop-out, youth violence, and substance abuse.

Youth and families seek El Centrito services because staff are bilingual, bicultural, services are free or on a sliding scale, and the agency addresses the multiple needs of families at-risk from a multi-dimensional service approach. Now celebrating its thirteenth year anniversary, El Centrito has been providing families with preventive, supportive and educationally-enhancing services since its inception. The agency is a grass roots community based organization with strong fiscal growth and management, and a solid track record of quality service delivery. A high priority for our services has always been focusing on educational enhancement and youth leadership programs. Oxnard has great ethnic diversity with 68% ethnic minorities and 15% of the population is monolingual, Spanish speaking.

El Centrito's programs are free or offered on a sliding scale, and are designed to be culturally sensitive and accessible to low-income population of Oxnard. El Centrito focuses on a bicultural model that includes: outreach, education, preventive activities, services in language most comfortable to participants, and community involvement in service delivery. To compensate for the multiple barriers placed on clients, El Centrito's delivery sites are centrally located, and staff conducts outreach, and home visits. During the 2004-05 fiscal year, El Centrito provided service to a total of 1826 participants: 1210 were children below the age of eighteen, and 616 were adult participants.

Vision and History

Our vision is to promote education and empowerment, and build a community of trust, respect, and responsibility. El Centrito has been helping youth of Oxnard attain their educational goals since 1992. The agency was founded in 1991, under the sponsorship of Sisters of St. Joseph Ministerial Services (SSJMS), and co-founders Jesus and Luann Rocha. SSJMS served as an "incubator", during the beginning years, providing the agency with consultative support and an existing non-profit structure. El Centrito incorporated in 1999, and now operates as its own non-profit public benefit organization.

El Centrito opened in 1992 with a volunteer part-time evening program, and agency opened full-time in 1994. The agency now operates multiple service sites in the City of Oxnard. El Centrito's service sites are located in the La Colonia community and the agency's headquarters and primary service sites are located in downtown Oxnard.

The following are milestones in the agency's development:

  • 1992 El Centrito opened a volunteer part-time evening program.
  • 1994 The agency opened full-time with the Youth Family & Intervention Program.
  • 1995 El Centrito initiated a free After School Computer Program to help students with tutoring and homework assistance.
  • 1996 The agency implemented the Computer Assisted School Readiness Program for children 4-6 years, and a complementary parent leadership component.
  • 1997 Opened the Chavez After School Program , an latch-key program for Chavez Elementary School students.
  • 1997 Opened a Teen After School Computer Lab
  • 1999 Relocated from its original operating site and began delivering services at multiple service sites. Service sites include: Downtown Oxnard at Old Oxnard High School, La Colonia Recreation Center, and Chavez School.
  • 1999 El Centrito incorporated into its own nonprofit entity, and now operates as an independent 501 C 3 nonprofit organization.
  • 2000 Recipient of a three year Community Technology Center grant from the US Department of Education. El Centrito formed a downtown Community Technology Center, and expanded technology services at La Colonia Lab site.
  • 2002 El Centrito initiated Calmecac Family Education, a family-centered learning model providing Adult Education, Infant and Toddler Services, School Readiness, After-School Activities, Parenting Classes and Family Support.
  • 2003 Opened the Neighborhood For Learning (NFL) Hub in collaboration with the Oxnard School District and Ventura County First Five Program.
  • 2004 Offered Parent Education and Family Literacy Classes to the Oxnard community to all five Neighborhood For Learning sites.

EL Centrito Financials

Annual Form 990

Audited Financial Statements