» Community Programs

Centro Comunitario de Educación is one of the most meaningful community outreach endeavors of the College of Educational Studies. Situated in downtown Santa Ana, the nationally renowned Centro Comunitario de Educación (formerly Librería Martinez) was founded by our very own Presidential Fellow Ruebén Martínez over 20 years ago. He established a reputation for making literacy a priority in the Santa Ana community.

Centro opens its doors to Latino authors and artists who wanted to exhibit their work and promote cultural pride. Ruebén also wanted to introduce the talent of these artists to the community at large. But, the most important objective at Centro is to honor books and promote a respect and love for reading. Now, under the auspices of Chapman University, Centro has also become an important cultural and community education center, offering a number of educational programs throughout the week and expanding the number of artists and authors during cultural events every month. 

Artists and Authors

Artists at Centro Comunitario de Educacíon

The community at large gets introduced to some of the most fascinating authors and artists during the Centro Comunitario de Educación special cultural events. Guests learn about the lived experiences that inspired the work of authors and artists as well as their approaches to writing and artistic expression. Authors and artists then make their work available for purchase. Signings are available for collectors.

Story Time

Story time for kids at Libreria Martinez Bookstore

Preschoolers come and listen to stories in both English and Spanish. Storytellers bring the printed word to life for 3-5 year olds who are just beginning to understand the magic that lies within the pages of books. While the children are being introduced to literacy, parents and teachers, and aspiring Chapman teacher candidates, learn the most effective approaches to reading and storytelling. 

When: Tuesdays and Wednesdays (1 hour)

Where: Reading room at Centro Comunitario de Educación

Padres Unidos

Children at Padres Unidos

Parents of young children from the downtown Santa Ana area participate in parent education modules where they become familiar with ways to enrich their children’s preschool experiences. Meanwhile, the preschoolers are introduced to school readiness.

What is Padres Unidos?

Teen Mentoring

Teen Mentoring Presentation at Libreria Martinez Book Store

Chapman University students interested in civic engagement are paired as mentors with mentees who are high school students from Santa Ana High School. They explore future college and career opportunities and participate in workshops. They also jointly participate in a civic engagement project to improve the Santa Ana community.

  • Saturday, March 21, 2015  -It is part of our goals for Centro to expose these teens to college and career options. So we took a small group of students to Chapman University for a tour! Check out the pictures!

Book Clubs and Classes and Workshops

Lecture event picture at Centro

Classes and workshops are also held at the Centro Comunitario de Educación. There are adult education classes, poetry writing, and Chapman University courses for students from the College of Educational Studies. These classes offer our students an opportunity to become more closely involved with the local community as well as offer the community an opportunity to become more involved with education, reading, art and culture.


Contact Us

Want to get information about the events held monthly at Centro? Send us your email address and we will be happy to put you on our list.

Come visit: Centro Comunitario de Educación is located at 216 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92701 near 3rd Street in Downtown Santa Ana or call: (714) 973-7900. 

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