Chattanooga YMCA opens new language immersion preschool in Highland Park


    The YMCA Language Immersion Early Learning Center opened last Friday at 801 S. Willow St. in Highland Park.
    The center, the third to open for YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga, has one unique goal–to produce students who are bilingual before they walk into kindergarten.
    With that in mind, the preschool will hold half the day in Spanish and half in English with emphasis on reading, vocabulary and language use in context. 

    The dual language immersion of the center comes from research supporting increased cognitive development among children when a second language is introduced.

    “Fostering the potential of our youth is at the heart of what we do,” said YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga President and CEO Janet Dunn. “And in this community, we have a great group of people who continue to show up when the YMCA has a dream or a need.”
    The YMCA Preschool Program is Christian-based, and includes healthy meals, challenging and fun learning experiences, daily physical activities, open door policy for parents, scholarships and daily schedules with free play.

    More information on the new learning center can be found at

    From left to right: Jessica Storey, YMCA Preschool director; Mayor Tim Kelly; Janet Dunn, president and CEO for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga; Pat Neuhoff, board chair for the YMCA; Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod and former Councilman Erskine Oglesby.