By Alesia Mayfield, Eastside News
The saying goes that it takes a village to raise a child. For Goodman Community Center, it takes a few parents to make the early childhood education and elementary after-school programs thrive.
The parents’ group is informal, and all volunteer and they have built a relationship with Goodman and that relationship has gotten stronger. Samantha Brown, director of child care programs, and Susan Neeley, former assistant director of child care programs, praise the parents’ group that assists the program and the teachers.
Neeley said that the parents provide a “nice bridge between home and school.”
Parents are invited on field trips and they volunteer to read to the children. Parent visits are welcome but need to be scheduled.
“We really love our parents and appreciate the time they have given to Goodman,” Brown said.
The parents make the staff feel seen, supported and appreciated. For the parents, it’s a way to give back by showing Goodman how much the center means to them. Though there is no exact number of how many parents are in the group, there is a core of 4-5 who are leading and organizing.
The group got its start in February when GCC coordinated a couple of parent meetings. The group took off from there. Their first show of support for children’s programs was when the parents helped the teachers put together a rally for Child Care Counts, a state program that was established during the COVID-19 pandemic to support child care programs and centers. In addition to the rally, some parents wrote letters to legislators and spoke to news outlets in support of the program. Unfortunately, the legislature did not renew the program, so centers didn’t get continued funding.
In May, during teacher appreciation week, the parents arranged meals for GCC teachers. Gift cards and letters of appreciation were written and given to the teachers.
For Marcus Trapp, being a Goodman parent means “appreciating all the benefits we receive from this amazing group of people and their facility. As parents, it’s our job to help support the center in both big and small ways throughout the year, doing our part to strengthen the community. Our family’s stability and income rely on Goodman’s quality child care, and we’re so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such wonderful people in caring for our child.”
The parents’ group is continuing into this school year. The ECE program covers preschool (3-year-olds) and 4-year-old kindergarten. The elementary after-school program covers kindergarten to fifth grade. During the summer and during the school year, program parents volunteer from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The elementary school programming keeps parents informed through emails, newsletters and Band, an app teachers and administrators use to communicate with them.
Want to know more?
For more information about children’s programming, call 608-241-1574 or email email@example.com.
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