Celebrating 25 years of helping kids learn
By Christie Garcia
La Habra Journal
Rosie’s Garage recently celebrated 25 years of helping La Habra children by creating a safe haven for young students who need homework help.
The open house and ribbon cutting ceremony last week allowed state and city officials, along with community members, to see the recent renovations and improvements to the facility.
The renovations were part of IGT’s After School Advantage program, which provided a grant for updating Rosie’s equipment.
IGT After School Advantage is a global community investment program, which provides qualifying non-profit community agencies and public schools with a digital learning center.
The goal of the IGT program is in line with the mission of Rosie’s Garage. The goal of IGT is “digital learning centers are designed to provide underprivileged/at-risk children ages five to 18 with a meaningful, yet fun, learning experience during the critical after-school hours, in a safe environment,” according to IGT.
Rosie’s Garage now boasts upgraded computer workstations, laptop stations (with laptops for children to use), reading areas and white boards for tutors to provide the assistance the students need.
An addition was more college pennants hanging around the facility to help inspire local children about the importance of education and that they can set college goals early.
The non-profit tutoring center was started by Rose Espinoza in hopes of creating a safe space that will bring in at-risk and underprivileged kids to get them interested and focused in school, and in turn keeping them out of gangs.
Espinoza opened up her garage for neighborhood kids for the first time in 1991. She made the garage resemble a classroom by putting in chairs, desks and other school supplies.
The intention was for Rosie’s Garage to be available for two years but after seeing the enthusiasm from the kids of wanting to go every day after school along with the success it had, it was hard to stop.
The future was bright for Rosie’s Garage. Espinoza’s work has received national recognition and has been featured by People and O, The Oprah Magazine.
What is in store for the future of Rosie’s Garage also seems to be promising.
Today kids that live in a neighborhood that once made an average of 1,300 calls to the police department throughout a two year span have a safe environment where they can learn and get excited about school.