About Us

O’Farrill Learning Center

Our Story

The center was conceived by Mateo and Francisca O’Farrill, who came to the United States escaping communism from Havana, Cuba in the 1960’s.  Francisca became one of the original Cuban teachers chosen to work for Head Start in the first center created for Hispanic children. For the next 23 years, she continued working as lead teacher and center director for several centers; while Mateo took the role of Curriculum Specialist for the Head Start Program in Miami. After retirement, they decided to start their own childcare and and within the first two years of service, received the “Gold Seal Accreditation” from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Apart from their service in education, they were also very active in the arts, performing with the Miami Beach Philharmonic and sharing the stage with musical giants like, Armando Manzanero and Rene Touzet. In 1995, Francisca sang “Cecilia Vlades” at the National Convention of Head Start in Washington, D.C. for Bill Clinton and several U.S. Senators. As of July 2008, Southwest 67th Avenue, from sixteenth to twenty-fourth street was named after Francisca, for her continued service to the education and the arts.       

The agency’s services include pre-kindergarten literacy program to ensure school readiness for children entering Kindergarten, providing year-round out-of-school literacy, fitness, social skills and enrichment curricula and reinforcement to achieve scores of excellence on the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) Progress Monitoring (PM 1-3) for school age children, and assisting low—income families achieve stability and self-sufficiency through the Head Start/Early Head Start Programs. All participants served are low-income (below the Federal Poverty Guideline), and consequently, all services are provided free of charge. In addition, at least 10% of all children served annually have a diagnosed disability.

Mission & Vision

Mission Statement
To serve our multicultural community by creating a dynamic, high-quality learning environment with a variety of appropriate developmental activities for children, fostering intellectual, emotional, social and physical growth while motivating them to become life-long learners; and to partner with parents, the first and most important educators of the children, thereby strengthening the base for learning and giving the family a sense of dignity and self-worth.

Servir nuestra comunidad multicultural creando un ambiente de aprendizaje dinámico y de alta calidad con una variedad de actividades de desarrollo apropiadas para niños, fomentando el crecimiento intelectual, emocional, social y físico y a su vez motivándolos a ser aprendices de por vida; y colaborar con los padres, los educadores principales y mas importantes de los niños, para reforzar la base del aprendizaje y darle un sentido de dignidad y autovalor a la familia.

Vision Statement
To be the organization that best understands and advocates for low-income children and families in our community.

Ser la organización que mejor entiende y promueve a los niños y familias de bajos ingresos en nuestra comunidad.