Early Childhood Centers
BELLFORT EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
7647 BellfortPurchased by HISD in 1996, this school takes its name from the street on which it is located in southeast Houston. Originally opened as an alternative school, the Bellfort Academy began serving only fourth- and fifth-graders from nearby Lewis Elementary School in 1998. (Lewis served grades prekindergarten through 3 at that time.) It began serving prekindergarten and kindergarten students in 2009.CONCORD EARLY CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER—CLOSED MAY 2008
4901 LockwoodOpened in 1967 at 5426 Cavalcade as an elementary school, this facility was converted to an early childhood center in 2006. It was named to commemorate the Battle of Concord (April 19, 1775), one of two that marked the beginning of the Revolutionary War. The center moved to 4901 Lockwood in 2007.
CROCKETT EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER—CLOSED 2011
Previously known as Richard Brock Elementary School, this facility was converted to an early childhood education center in 2006 and renamed for the Tennessee-born Davy Crockett, who died at the Alamo in the struggle for Texas’ independence.
ARMANDINA FARIAS EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
515 East RittenhouseOpened in August 2005, this facility was named for Armandina Farias, an HISD educator who worked for the district more than 35 years. She began her career in 1960 at Manuel De Zavala Elementary School, and served as the principal of both Robert E. Lee Elementary School and Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. Farias died while still at Jefferson. She was inducted into the National Hall of Fame of Hispanic Women in Leadership in 1990.
FONWOOD EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
10710 SenecaFonwood Early Childhood Center is one of seven campuses annexed by HISD in the summer of 2013, after North Forest ISD was dissolved by the Texas Education Agency. Built in 1964, it was previously used as an elementary school.
HALPIN EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
This school was named after Sharon Goldstein Halpin, an exceptionally dedicated HISD teacher who taught at David Burnet and William Travis Elementary Schools even after she was diagnosed with cancer. The school was dedicated to her in 1997.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
3930 West Fuqua
One of the very first facilities built by HISD to serve prekindergarten students exclusively, this school opened in the autumn of 2004. Its name honors the slain civil-rights leader who advocated nonviolent social protest in the pursuit of racial equality. King was named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1963 and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his efforts. He was assassinated in April 1968.
LANGSTON EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM—CLOSED MAY 2004
John Mercer Langston rose to prominence as Virginia’s first African-American U.S. Representative and was acclaimed for his distinguished work as a diplomat, professor, and administrator at Howard University and inspector general of the Freedmen’s Bureau. In 1955, HISD renamed the former Breckenridge Elementary School (built in 1905) in his memory. In 1991 the school was closed. It reopened three years later as an early childhood center.
LAS AMÉRICAS EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT CENTER—CLOSED MAY 2007
This school was actually a combination of three different schools under one roof. Las Américas served two different student populations, and was named for the apartment complex surrounding the building. It served prekindergarten and kindergarten students on the first floor and grades 6–8 on the second. Kaleidoscope, a charter school that occupied the building’s top floor, also served grades 6–8. Las Américas was originally a relief facility for Leroy Cunningham Elementary School, but it moved to the Glenmont location in 2000. It closed in 2007.
NINFA LAURENZO EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
205 North Delmar
One of the first two facilities built by HISD to serve prekindergarten students exclusively, this school opened in the autumn of 2004. It is named for the late Ninfa Rodríguez Laurenzo, a much-loved Houston restaurateur and community leader who recognized the importance of education in child development early on. Ninfa Laurenzo opened her first Mexican-food restaurant in 1969 in a converted warehouse on Houston’s east side. Over the next 10 years, she parlayed that restaurant’s success into a multi-million-dollar empire. The school named after her is located at 205 North Delmar, in the same neighborhood as her original restaurant. She died in June 2001.
GABRIELA MISTRAL EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
6203 JessamineOpened in the fall of 2005, this facility is one of several built by HISD designed to serve prekindergarten students exclusively. It is named after a celebrated Chilean poet and educator who was the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1945). Gabriela Mistral was the pen name of Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, who was born in 1889 and died in 1957. Both a writer and a teacher, she created educational programs for the poor under the Mexican Ministry of Education. She also taught at Vassar, Columbia University, Middlebury College, and the University of Puerto Rico.
NEFF EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
8200 CarvelThis facility originally opened in 1964 as an elementary school (which moved to a new building in the fall of 2012). It is named for Pat Morris Neff (1871–1952), a lawyer and educator who served as governor of Texas (1920–1924) and president of Baylor University (1932–1948).
WHEATLEY CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER—CLOSED 2007
4900 MarketLocated on the campus of Phillis Wheatley High School, this facility was opened in August 2001 to serve the children of students attending Wheatley High School and preschool-age students from the surrounding neighborhood.