Education Services

Family Literacy ProgramFamily Literacy Program and Briya Public Charter School
The Family Literacy Program provides parents and their children ages 0 to 12 with the tools needed to be successful in school and in the workplace. Classes for parents include English and computer literacy, parenting, civics, and job skills. Parents learn to complete health, school, and work forms; read medicine labels; ask questions at doctor appointments and parent-teacher conferences; understand children’s report cards; help their children with homework; and much more. While parents are in class, their children attend early childhood classes for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. These classes prepare children for kindergarten by developing their language, literacy, cognitive, motor, and social skills. During Parent and Child Together time, or PACT, parents apply language and literacy development techniques studied in parenting classes. They use these techniques with their children at Mary’s Center and at home.

In 2006, a D.C. charter school, now called Briya, was created as an independent entity and key partner of Mary’s Center. This partnership allows for expanded literacy and job training offerings.

Child Care LicensingChild Care Licensing Program
Mary’s Center provides training and technical assistance to individuals interested in opening their own licensed child care business, either in the home as a Child Development Home, or in a commercial location as a Child Development Center. This program includes step-by-step guidance on the complex licensing process, mentoring and coaching to help improve quality, and professional development. We provide support for individual problem solving, interact with agencies on behalf of participants, and help participants prepare for the required inspections. We have provided services to individuals of all languages and backgrounds, including speakers of Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Creole, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Tigrinya, Turkish, and Vietnamese. For more information about this program and our impact, please click here.

Child Development Associate Classes
Mary’s Center offers Child Development Associate Classes in partnership with  Briya Public Charter School. Classes in English and Spanish provide the 120 hours of instruction required to obtain the Child Development Associate credential. This class is open to DC residents over 18 years of age, and takes place from September to February. Classes are Monday through Thursday, from 6 pm to 9 pm in the evening. The total cost of the class is $250, which can be paid in installments. This cost includes all materials and support during the application process. If you are interested in enrolling, please contact CDA Program Coordinator Wendy Guardado at 202-420-7034 or at

Teen Education ProgramAdolescent "Teen" Education Program
This program is part of our comprehensive program serving adolescents. First-generation teens face complex situations that require culturally competent, culturally sensitive responses. Many of our teens have been separated from their families for years before entering the United States. Teens can experience grief when they leave loved ones behind and adapt to new family members. Helping teens cope with the issues surrounding family reunification and cultural divides is critical to our success in helping youth build confidence and make healthy life decisions. The education components of this program include:

  • School advocacy and collaboration with school counselors;
  • The summer Urbanito Program, which provides job readiness, job opportunities, a community project, and field trips;
  • An after-school program with the following components:
    • Regular health education workshops;
    • Tutoring, SAT preparation, college tours, and English classes;
    • Senior Day, which provides intensive support for college applications and scholarships;
    • Community projects, including building support and raising money for our Urbanito Scholarship Fund; and
    • Community involvement including testifying before the City Council and participating in community health fairs and peer education.