1 Can you remember your first day working here?
It was very exciting because I enjoyed feeding those babies. I would come in at noon to help feed the babies. I have worked 29 years, and I volunteered the first year, so since the doors opened.
2 What ages have you worked with?
The first year, I volunteered with the infants. The second year, I was hired on as staff, and I did a morning and afternoon preschool class of 3-year-olds. They started the kindergarten program the third year and I taught that for over 20 years. When they dropped that program, I started teaching the 4- and 5-year old preschool group. I’ve been doing that for seven or eight years now.
3 How will you be celebrating the center’s 30 year?
There will be an open house from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday. We have invited the community, as well as, any former parents or students to come in and see what the place looks like now.
4 How did the program get started?
Well, it did have the support of our church members, but the start up money actually came from my friend’s tragic loss of her husband. She donated the memorial money for the start up costs of the center.
5 How many kids did you start with in 1982?
When we started, there were not nearly as many all-day kids. We had morning and afternoon classes. I really can’t remember the exact numbers, but I think we are licensed for 125. I honestly don’t even know how many we have right now.
6 How have your programs changed over the years?
Over the years, there has been more and more of a push for academics. We want that too, but we also want to nurture the children’s developmental abilities. I present the information, but I I’m very careful not to let the kids who can’t do some of the work feel badly about themselves. Some just aren’t ready yet.
7 What changes have you noticed in kids in 1982 and kids in 2012?
That’s hard because in some ways they haven’t changed. I do think their surroundings have changed with all the technology and all. I still have phonographic records and when I take them out to play them, the kids will say, “Wow — where did you get that big CD?” Kids are still kids, but how they relate to the world around them is very different than many years ago.
8What is your biggest challenge in your job?
Keeping up with the children. I try to stay ahead of them, but they are always on the move, always thinking, always dreaming. I also try to stay up to date as an educator and to be aware of the area expectations, as well.
9 What is your favorite part?
The children — they are the main reason I do this job. I love to be with kids. I love to work with kids. I love to watch them learn. I can’t say there aren’t frustrating days, but overall, I love to come to work every day. Of course, I enjoy my adult staff too, but it’s the
children that keep me coming back.
10 So, have you ever been thrown up on?
Yes, but it doesn’t happen too often. I sometimes keep an extra shirt here, but I only live about 10 minutes away so I can go home to change if it’s too bad. Generally, I get things spilled on me far more than the other.