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The Cruz Brothers Thrive in Child Development Center

​Through our community support and partnerships, Bidwell’s Child Development Center is able to offer more than just quality affordable childcare and preschool. Here’s a story of two brothers at Bidwell who have thrived during their time here.  

Jeydeen and Chrisjonuel Cruz, have been enrolled at Bidwell since the spring of 2017, and both our staff and their mother have witnessed significant strides made by both boys in that time. Both boys are English Language Learners, and are in Speech Therapy on site at Bidwell, as offered through our partnership with Children’s Therapy Services, provided by United Way.

Jeydeen is four and enrolled in the Universal Pre-Kindergarten classroom which we offer through our partnership with Des Moines Public Schools, and Chrisjonuel is three and in the Little Learners room.

Read more of Jeydeen and Chrisjonuel's story here.

We believe that our stable and consistent educational environment is essential to helping children like Jeydeen and Chrisjonuel reach developmental milestones at appropriate times.

Bidwell Teacher once a Bidwell Student Herself

Amy Seimer is currently a teacher at Bidwell’s Child Development Center, but she first became acquainted with Bidwell as a child when she attended preschool in 1976 at age four.  At that time, all of Bidwell’s services were provided out of the main yellow building- the preschool program was housed upstairs and the basement was home to the food and clothing pantry and soup kitchen. 

Amy remembers her teachers very well, Sonia Fazio and Miss Sue.  She is still in contact with 91-year-old Sonia Fazio and visits with her often.  Sonia’s current neighbor, Ted, was the custodian at Bidwell during this time as well. 

Amy Seimer Preschool Pic.jpg
Amy Seimer and Sonia Fazio.jpg

One of the things that Miss Sonia and Miss Sue planned throughout the school year were plays that the children performed for their families.  Someone had built some pull-out bleachers in one of the classrooms for the families to sit on for these plays.  Amy remembers acting out The Three Billy Goats Gruff and some nursery rhyme plays. 

Another favorite activity of Amy’s was the climber downstairs that got pulled out on bad weather days.  All the soup kitchen tables would be moved to the side so the climber could be pulled out and a mattress was slid underneath.  Amy and the other children would climb to the top of the climber and let go falling to the mattress below.    

Amy and her sisters all fondly remember their time spent in the preschool program Bidwell Riverside.

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