Elizabeth R's Story:
"September 2019 was Phoebes first day of preschool. It also happened to be my first day of college. When I dropped Phoebe off that morning I was filled with anxiety. My baby’s first day and a new adventure and chapter in my life. I didn’t know how I was going to balance it all. Little did I know preschool was going to be the best thing that ever happened to us. The week preschool started phoebe had just graduated from diapers. She was a tiny dictator with a lot of emotions.
As the school days went by Phoebes emotions and aggression started to disappear, they had taken my mini monster and turned her into a little ball of light. She was excited to learn. She was excited about her new friends. She was excited about how she was growing. She was safe and confident in this space Cheri and Michelle had created. Fast forward to 2020 a new school year and another year of college for mom. This year Phoebe is a leader. She lives for school. Mondays are highlighted on the calendar, so we know when the weekends over. Monday morning is Phoebes favorite day because of Cheri and Michelle. They start to become my favorite days too. Some weekdays Cheri and Michelle were the only adults I spoke too. They didn’t just help my daughter grow they were there for me too. They remembered when I had tests. They calmed me down when I had anxiety about shared custody. They heard me.
Moving forward to March 2020 and what I thought was the end of preschool. As a family we were devastated. Isolation set in and they were our life raft. They rallied and took on Zoom calls with 5-8 preschoolers at a time. They did porch drop offs with bags filled with activities. They did one on one calls with Phoebe that involved tours of her bedroom, and invitations to sleep overs always meet with “that’s so kind of you to invite me I can’t wait till were back in school!” They kept us and her education on track. We are so excited to be going back. I cant help but think we cant be the only family whose lives have been changed by these two women. I start my Dental Program this summer. Phoebe is happy, healthy, and so smart. I know a lot of times we think of teaching as just a job. A responsibility to our youth. These women are so much more than that. They have become an intricate part of our support system and I am forever grateful."
"I would like to show my deepest appreciation for the GCCARD Early Head Start Program. My 9 month old girl attended the program. Her teachers were awesome and took such great care of her. They made it possible for me to go back to school and pursue my goals. This fall I will have my Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Within the next year and a half I will have my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Studies at Rochester College. I am so amazed with how this program helped me and my daughter. I would highly recommend this program for parents with young children. Thank you GCCARD Early Head Start staff. You guys ROCK!!!!"