Classroom on wheels brings pre-school education to kids in Federal Heights mobile home park

Posted at 2:55 PM, Apr 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-13 20:42:06-04

FEDERAL HEIGHTS -- Educators and parents know that pre-school education can make a big difference in a child's success and desire to learn, but not every child has access to pre-school education.

That's why Rany Elissa and Alexa Garrido invested a big chunk of the profits they've made from their Right-On Learning educational service into a mobile education lab, or classroom on wheels.

Their mobile classroom rolled into Federal Heights earlier this month and parked at the Denver Cascade Mobile Home Park.

"It's similar to a brick and mortar classroom," said teacher Nikki Kohler. "We have everything we need onboard," she said. That includes a restroom.

"This is a Mimio board," said Leigh Wilson, while pointing to a high-tech projector. "We can use it as a white board, but we can project different things up there if we want to watch a video or anything like that."

"It's also a smart board," Kohler chimed in, "so it's interactive."

The pre-schoolers inside listened to their teachers' instructions.

"Can you show me three fingers," one teacher asked.  The young child counted, "one, two, three."

"Great," the teacher said.

"We come to them to help them learn and grow and be ready for Kindergarten," Wilson told Denver7, "and be the best person they can be."

Garrido drives the bus.

"My passion is for kids and to work with families," she said. "Doing so in this format allows me to be very involved with families."

Rany Elissa says the mobile lab provides a service that many of the children would not otherwise have access to.

"Transportation is an issue," he said. "Parents are working... so we bring the classroom to the kids."

Valerie Perko, the community manager at Denver Cascade, said she's happy to have her mobile home park be the "guinea pig" for this new educational effort.

"I'm all for helping the kids," she said, "and I love the idea."

Elissa said they hope to turn the mobile learning lab into a nonprofit venture.

"It's privately funded now," he said, "but once we transition into nonprofit status, we'll look for fundraisers and other community support."

"My hope is that it takes off," Garrido said, "and that we can add other buses along the way."