Nestled snugly in the heart of Santa Fe’s historic eastside, Garcia Street Club is the oldest preschool in the Santa Fe area. Established in 1945, our program enjoys a rich history in the local community and has served four generations of New Mexico families.
“This house was begun in 1846 and stands on what was then El Camino Real,” reads the historic plaque on the front of our rambling adobe house. If the walls could talk, they’d tell many stories. Among them would be story of how Santa Fe’s famed philanthropists, The White Sisters, Martha and Elizabeth, established Garcia Street Club in 1945 on the then-outskirts of Santa Fe as a community center for Santa Fe’s children. They’d tell of 75 years of programming structured around the needs of the youth and families of our diverse city – of Spanish dancing classes, art and pottery lessons, and children’s woodworking, of leather crafting, and sewing groups. They’d tell of basketball games, fiesta council meetings, and drama productions. They’d also tell of Laura Dougherty and her nearly 35 years of directing Garcia Street Club, during which the focus became early childhood education, which remains our focus to this day.
By the 1980s, Garcia Street Club was providing bilingual early childhood education services to the children of Santa Fe, under Laura Dougherty’s leadership. A thriving afterschool program for school-aged children existed, as well. These days, we at Garcia Street Club proudly maintain our long-held mission to provide enrichment to the lives of Santa Fe’s youngest citizens. Through our high-quality early childhood education program, we continue to celebrate diversity and focus on celebrating the child and allowing accessibility to all. Our Reggio Emilia-inspired educational philosophy celebrates the “100 Languages of Children” and supports the entire family.