NEAT Stories

Volunteer Opportunity: Nueva Esperanza Preschool

Immigrant Preschool Looking for Volunteers

Born out of an Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity NEAT (Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Team) in 2015, the Nueva Esperanza Sunday Preschool uniquely serves children from the indigenous Mam culture from Guatemala, ages 3-5 years. Volunteers prepare the children to learn English and enter kindergarten by engaging the children through play, art, story time. The volunteers want the children to feel loved and welcomed while applauding the fact that they are quickly becoming trilingual. Nueva Esperanza Preschool is currently in need of volunteers to keep this preschool thriving. If you would like to volunteer at least one Sunday a month, from 3-5 in the Fruitvale District of Oakland, CA, please email Mirtha Ninayahuar (a former NEAT team member!) at

About Nueva Esperanza (New Hope) Sunday Preschool 

Nueva Esperanza Sunday Preschool in the Fruitvale District of Oakland, CA works to prepare children from the indigenous Guatemalan Mam culture, ages 3-5, to enter U.S. schools at the Kindergarten/First Grade level with at least average levels of expected knowledge that will enable them to receive and benefit from the curriculum in kindergarten. 

The preschool volunteers work with the children on the English language, early literacy concepts, early math concepts, and names of colors and shapes. We have story time, music activities led by a music teacher, as well as playtime and art. We provide healthful snacks, toothbrush kits, books and book bags. Our graduating children receive backpacks with school supplies. 

Our purpose is to engage with the children to show them that they are loved and welcomed and applaud the fact that they are quickly becoming trilingual.

The preschool meets every Sunday from 3-5 at the Iglesia de Dios (Church of God) at 4500 International Blvd.

Financial Support

In 2015 the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity’s, Reverend Deborah Lee; First Congregational Church of Berkley member, Dr. Victoria Purcell- Gates; Skyline Community Church Co-chair of Justice & Witness, Mirtha Ninayahuar; and Iglesia de Dios Pastor, Adolfo Gomez, applied for and received a Rainin Foundation grant focused on supporting language and literacy development for Oakland’s children 0-5 years old at places of worship.

The First Congregational Church of Berkeley provides funds for preschool supplies. In 2019, the United Church of Christ and the United Lutheran Church of Oakland awarded grants to the preschool. Donations in the form of school supplies and snacks are also received from the faith community and volunteers.