About Us

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Our Program

RIFC preschool is a bi-lingual Spanish-English preschool with many teachers fluent in Spanish and English. Our program includes music, books and a  curriculum that is delivered with our dual-language model. We take many field trips to support our experiential learning philosophy.
The teachers take into careful consideration each child's individual learning style and the overall class interest when preparing the curriculum. At the beginning of each year, teachers develop an individual development plan for each child and continue to track their progress carefully throughout the year. 
Each day the children come to RIFC preschool excited to enter into this learning community and ready to embark on new adventures through song, dance, crafts, and lessons. 
Parents bring their children to RIFC with confidence, knowing that every day their child is learning something new and that this preschool education is creating a positive foundation for their child's future learning experiences throughout their life. 

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Curriculum

RIFC implements a Reggio Emilia approach that recognizes children as strong and powerful contributors to their own learning. In a Reggio inspired program the image of the child is central-the child who is curious, full of wonder, rich in resources, able to construct and co-construct his or her own learning. Teachers and students together discover the joy of learning. At RIFC we aim to build upon the confidence, curiosity, wonder and richness that children bring to school. 


 We accomplish this with our four core values: 

  1.  Collaborative Relationships: We value mutual respect, reciprocity and collaborative decision-making among children, families, staff and educators. We believe this builds strong and equitable communities. 
  2.  Social Justice: We value cultural democracy, overcoming bias, and undoing racism. We believe that children and adults can only thrive in a world where inequities are noticed and actively challenged. 
  3.  Engaged Learning: We value curiosity and reflection for adults and children. We believe this leads to a journey of life-long teaching and learning. 
  4.  Joyful Work: We value playfulness, purpose, and passion in the classroom as well as the office. We believe that adults can draw inspiration from children's lively minds. 

Staff

Luz Casio - Director

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 Director of Refugee and Immigrant Family Center a chapter of Sound Child Care Solutions (SCCS) Luz Casio is the Mentor teacher and the co-facilitator of pedagogical leadership through communities of reflection and practice across SCCS centers; she has over sixteen years of experience serving as a Dual Language ECE Consultant with infant, toddler, preschool, Step-Ahead, ECEAP and Head Start classrooms. She has served as a faculty member with the Center for Linguistic and Cultural Democracy, a curriculum developer, program supervisor, center director, coach and a college instructor guiding the learning development and skill-base of her diverse classroom of students. As a bilingual, bicultural educator, Luz has championed critical pedagogy and equity in education at the local and state level. She holds a BA and MA Degree in Education with a focus on Dual Language ECE, Educational Leadership and Organizational Change from Goddard College. Luz is a Part time Faculty at Highline College teaching  the State Early Childhood Initial and Specialization Certificate series in Spanish.​


“If I can teach a classroom with ten children I can impact the lives of ten children. If I can teach a classroom with ten teachers I can impact the lives of 100 children”  - Luz Casio 

Cristina Medina Azpeitia - Family Support Specialist

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Hi! My name is Cristina Medina-Azpeitia, I was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico and moved to the United States when I was only two years old. My parents raised me in Federal Way, Washington and that's where I stayed up until college. I went to Washington State University and graduated May 2015 with a degree in Women Studies and a minor in Comparative Ethnic Studies. I was a teacher at SWEL for a couple of years before transitioning as the Family Support Specialist. I loved working with children, but I’m excited to begin working more with families. I’m looking forward to the support I can give families, to continue advocating for themselves and their children. As well as, providing resources and knowledge that can help them in their day to day lives. My passion has always been social justice and advocacy for equal access/opportunities to all communities. I have a really open, carefree personality and enjoy daily conversations with all people around me.  My personal interests include - movies, hikes, food, and being around my family as often as possible. 

Javier Casio Gomez - Assistant Director

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My summoned name is Javier Israel Casio-Gomez, however to everyone else at Southwest Early Learning Bilingual Preschool, I am simply known as Teacher Javie. I was born in the city of Durango, which is also the name of the state of Mexico I was so humbly given birth to, some odd years ago. I’ve been part of the SWEL/RIFC team for many, many years and enjoyed every moment of it before transitioning to Assistant Director. Although, I haven’t always been part of such an amazing organization, I did however, serve and form part of an equally life changing AmeriCorps organization called City Year.  As a City Year member, I spent two years serving middle school students hands-on, supporting them both inside and outside of the classroom. I played a fundamental role in helping them reach their educational goals and potential. Once I completed my 22-month commitment with City Year, and served more than 3,400 hours, I figured it was time to get a “real job”, as I worked some odd jobs for about a year, then I was granted the opportunity to work in a childcare center. I was there for about a year when I was given the opportunity to come SWEL. My life goal has always been around trying to help people or work in human services (social work) however; through my time in early childhood education I changed that slightly. I got my AA at Seattle Central Community College, preceded to pursue my Bachelor of Arts in Community Organizing and Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education at Goddard College. I have committed my life to changing the course of history, by fostering and developing young idealist everyday during my tenure here at SWEL & RIFC.  My commitment to the children has been to provide and foster an experience like no other before they have to go into the real world. I strive to document the children’s milestones and the essence of their play every day.  On a personal note, I have two loving parents, whom also gave birth to two more children of the Casio-Gomez clan. I am married and have two wonderful children.  

Zuliama Soberanis - Mentor Teacher/Culture Specialist

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My name is Zulaima Soberanis, but people know me as Zuli. I grew up in Campeche, which is located in southeast Mexico, on the west side of the Yucatan Peninsula and I moved to Seattle on 2002. I have two  beautiful boys Michael and Viktor. I enjoy spending time with my family, going bike riding, going camping, drawing, going to movies and visiting the library and doing arts and crafts. I have been working in the Child Development field for many years and I possess a Preschool Bilingual Child Development Associate Credential. I am working towards my AA in ECE and plan to further my education in Early Childhood Education. My favorite activities to do with the children are telling folk stories, playing outdoors, dancing and doing art projects. I believe the purpose of early education for children should provide opportunities to develop proficiency in all aspects of self learn to live with others, express their feelings and enjoy new experiences. I personally think that being able to teach children things they will use their whole lives is very rewarding. This year I'll have many roles, not only as mentor and culture specialist, but also as a floater - supporting the classrooms and teachers when needed. 

Karla Gomez - Exploradores Teacher

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Hello! I am teacher Karlita, and this is my 6th year Teaching in Preschool. I was located at our sister site, South West Early Learning Preschool for 4 years and this is my second year here at Refugee & Immigrant Family Center. I was born on December 9th in Redmond, Washington but my roots are from Durango, Mexico. I am fluently bilingual in both Spanish and English. I’ve always been really social with a big smile and a positive attitude! I have two younger sisters Claudia and Daniela. I really enjoy painting/drawing on my free time and just create new artwork. I’ve traveled to a couple places like Oregon, California, Nevada, Mexico, New Zealand  and Canada. Traveling is something that really enjoy because I love to sightsee and take lots and lots of pictures. Taking pictures is one of my favorite hobbies and to really create memories with the people that I love to surround myself with!  

Maria Martinez - Exploradores Teacher

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Hi everyone! My name is Maria Martinez and this is my first year at Refugees and Immigrants Family Center. I was born and raised in Zamora, Michoacan, Mexico. I am the middle child of 5 siblings and enjoy spending time with my large family.  

I am pursuing an AA degree from Highland College where I’ve become passionate about understanding the factors that influence children's emotions, social skills and intelligence, in order to plan and design appropriate services that make a positive impact on their development. I worked as a lead teacher with infants ages 8-12 months at my previous job. For five years I enjoyed working there and helping them to learn basic skills.  

I have an extended family in California which I enjoy visiting as often as I can. I’m the mother of two charming boys and love going to the park, lake, and spending time with them.  

I love learning and helping others and am looking forward to a great journey here! 

Deicy Orozco-Marron - Innovadores Teacher

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 Hello everyone!!!
My name is Deicy Orozco-Marron, I was born and raised in Michoacan, Mexico. My parents decided to bring me and my brothers to the United States when I was 11 for an opportunity of better education. I attended middle school and high school in Grandview, WA (the Yakima valley). Right after high school I attended Washington State University in Pullman for five years. In May, 2014 I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in Human Development with a focus on Early Childhood development and care. During my years in Pullman I worked with children from infant to school ages. I have been working with SWEL for a couple of months before transitioning and joining the RIFC family.
I enjoy working with children and observing them grow in every developmental stage. I look forward to working and assisting parents and children from the classroom. I hope to help everyone feel valued and acknowledged of their cultures and variety of languages. May we all learn a lot of new things from each other! 

Meet Our Chefs

Guadalupe Leon

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Deb Koon

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Our three amazing Chefs prepare all of our breakfast, lunch, and midday and afternoon snacks! All of the food they prepare is made seasonal and as organic as possible. 

Cheryl Carter

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