Two weeks ago, I sat in the back of Dr. Gallo's Community Forum on Safety next to our Home School Liaison, Miss Susana. I listened attentively to Dr. Gallo and the Panel. I couldn't help, though, but smile and smile because of the children and families from our
Early Childhood Community who were present. To my left, sitting by himself was one of the Captain Hunt dads. To my right, a group of parents and children from Robertson and Captain Hunt and in the front of me, closer to stage was yet another group of Robertson parents and children. I counted folks and felt proud of the number of children and families who had come out at 6pm on a school night in an effort to show how much SAFETY is valued in our community.
In the midst of it all, sitting a few rows in front of me, was a second grader. As the adults described the current state of safety in our community and then community members made comments about what is working and not working, that second grader, sitting between her sisters, voraciously read the descriptions of dolls in the American Girl Doll Catalog. In the dim lighting of the auditorium, she held the catalog close to her eyes as she pored over every word/doll/description and turned the catalogue pages reverently. Without any words, I could feel her dreams. What a wonderful metaphor for our journey this year as we, as parents, children, teachers, administrators and the community itself, begin the conversation about what it means to be safe in Central Falls: in our schools, our streets and in our homes. What are our dreams for our school, our community? At the end of the evening, Miss Karen, the i3 Incredible Years Parent Collaborator for Captain Hunt, made a statement about parent volunteerism in our early learning community, she spoke about the Incredible Years Program and our 'possibility' as we look toward tomorrow. What good can happen if we 'DREAM BIG, DREAM FIERCE?' Certainly, the
possibilities are endless.
Last week, a mom from Robertson School popped into the office before school started; she was there to help. As we grapple with safety at drop-off and pick-up, she had come to volunteer. Now, each morning, she wears the garb of the Crossing Guard and is helping children at Robertson to be guided into the school yard during drop-off. If I had a catalog with descriptions of the perfect school, I would 'DREAM BIG, DREAM FIERCE' for a school with parents volunteering as crossing guards, parents and families attending meetings in order to give input/guide our school community, and collaborators who celebrate the growth with grace, while inspiring all of us to continue to work together to become the best school community that we can be, for the sake of our children. Thank you for sharing your child with the Central Falls early learning community and thank you for walking together with us as we work to guide Robertson and Captain Hunt
to be the best early learning community possible.
Beth Tanner, MS Ed
Early Childhood Principal