Kindergarten Readiness at Briya - How do we prepare children for kindergarten?

At Briya PCS, Mary’s Center’s partner in education, parents and their young children learn at the same time. In the school’s PreK classes, three- and four-year-olds prepare for future school success. While over 50% of PreK students begin the school year at below widely held expectations for their age, by the end of the year 95-100% of them meet or exceed widely held expectations.

A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

The warm, welcoming environment at Briya Public Charter School, Mary’s Center’s partner in education, fosters a supportive community of students from over thirty countries around the world.

My Special Connection to Mary's Center

Mary’s Center is proud to be a Center of Excellence for youth development, helping young people like Diana Espinoza realize their potential and build better futures for themselves and their families. Diana, a recent graduate of our Teen Program, explains how Mary's Center has supported her and her family. 

Mary's Center Expands to Fort Totten (Ward 5)

Mary's Center opened a new site in the Fort Totten neighborhood of Washington DC in November 2016. The new center, where we are operating in partnership with Briya Public Charter School and Bridges Public Charter School, allows us to help families in Ward 5 to build better futures and climb the economic ladder. 

Here are a few facts about Mary's Center at Fort Totten:

o   The building is located at:

  • 100 Gallatin Street, NE, at the intersection of Gallatin Street and Fort Totten Drive
  • A five-minute walk from the Fort Totten Metro Station (Red, Yellow & Green lines)
  • The site is also easily accessible by bus.

o   The location is ideal because it allows Mary’s Center to bring its model into a new neighborhood (Ward 5). Additionally, a large number of our participants are moving to that area.

o   The site, known to the local community as Mamie D. Lee, used to be a DC Public School in Northeast Washington DC. It closed its doors in June 2015 due to insufficient capacity.

o   Briya and Bridges Public Charter Schools were awarded the building complex and Mary’s Center partnered with them to expand its services and provide both schools and the surrounding community with our comprehensive Social Change Model on-site, including medical and dental services, social services, behavioral health, health promotion, and WIC.

o   Part of the old building was demolished and replaced with new construction.

o   Mary’s Center has had a relationship with Briya since 1991. Briya represents the educational piece of Mary’s Center’s Social Change Model (health care, education and social support). Specifically, Briya supports the community and social service programs by assisting families to move up the economic ladder through education for both parents and their children.

o   Bridges is a new partner that serves children in Pre-K through 5th grade, which provides a significant expansion of the educational partnership component. Bridges PCS specializes in serving children with special needs, who make up 1/3 of its population, which means the model now includes more focus on this population.  

o   Mary’s Center has 12,000 square feet of renovated space.

o   In total, Mary’s Center has 34 rooms including:

  • 10 for Medical
  • 5 for Dental (with a total of 7 dental chairs)
  • 7 for Behavioral Health
  • 5 for Home Visiting
  • 1 for Community Health Education, Training and Research (formerly Health Promotion)
  • 1 for the Nutritionist
  • 1 for WIC
  • 1 for Social Services
  • 1 Conference Room

o   The Dental office at the Fort Totten site supports increased services for pediatric dentistry. However, the office also  treats adults.  

o   When the new site is fully operational, we will serve approximately 15,000 patients a year.

To make your appointment at the Fort Totten site or any of our other sites, please call 1-844-796-2797. We look forward to welcoming you!

A Strong Partnership

Education is a key component of Mary’s Center Social Change Model and we are very proud of our partnership with Briya Public Charter School

This partnership was recently featured in a paper by the Brookings Institute entitled “Using Schools and Clinics as Hubs to Create Healthy Communities: The Example of Briya/Mary’s Center”.

Briya offers excellent programs to help children to become lifelong learners and to set them and their families on the path to educational and economic success.

Family Literacy Program

Briya’s Family Literacy Program provides children ages 0 to 12 and their parents 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.

Child Care Licensing Child Care Licensing Program

Briya 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.

Child Development Associate Classes

Briya offers Child Development Associate Classes. 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 April.

Medical Assistant Program

Briya Public Charter School and Mary's Center have partnered and created a Maternal & Childcare Medical Assistant (MA) Program, to train outstanding Medical Assistants to meet the diverse needs of the community.

The  12-15 month program, which begins in August, gives the MA candidates the extensive knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill the MA job responsibilities. The curriculum has 7 modules including Communications & Community Health, Anatomy & Physiology, Health Promotion & Disease, Math & Medications, Lab Medicine, Medical Business Practices, and Medical Law & Ethics.

During class and their internships at the Mary's Center clinics, students develop the lab skills needed to be highly skilled MAs. The final components of the program consist of students completing a 160-hour externship in a clinical setting and taking the Registered Medical Assistant Exam.


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