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It Takes a Village to Care for and Educate a Child!

I’m sure you’ve heard of the African origin proverb that “it takes a village to raise a child.” As an early childhood educator for nearly 4 decades, I can attest to its truism firsthand. This proverb has resonated with me since 1994 when I started Kids Academy with only one room and one child, my own 3 years old son! Now, more than 28 years later, we are at full capacity with more than 57 precious children whose loving parents have entrusted them in our care. How did it happen?

It happened because I was helped and supported right from the beginning and throughout every day of these years by the helping and trusting hands of so many people. This includes but is not limited to the parents, teachers, and numerous community partners, including Morton Grove Village, library, police and fire stations, nurses, DCSF representatives, and Illinois Action for Children. Of course none of this would have been possible without the St. Luke’s Community Church’s kindness to provide us with a home for our non-denominational daycare center. I owe St. Luke’s a great deal of gratitude. 

I always remember the family of Andrew Mathias who were among the first few families who trusted our newly opened daycare and registered Andrew with us. Andrew is now a successful professional, and I’m very proud of having an important role in his early development.

And then there have always been my highly capable teachers who have given so much selflessly of their knowledge and efforts to care for and educate the children at Kids Academy. During the first 20 years, Meeki Gupta was not only a most competent teacher, but also an outstanding deputy director for the center. Her exceptionally gentle and ethical manner combined with her patience and skilled teaching helped us to become the extra-ordinary daycare which we are today.

And today, I believe we have the most able, caring, and professional teaching staff in the region at our Center. They are led by Kellie Andersen, an excellent center director, who first began as our expert Head Start teacher twelve years ago. Ever since, Kellie has proven herself to be not only a most knowledgeable and dedicated teacher, but also a competent administrator and leader. I know that Kellie and our teaching staff will create even a brighter future for Kids Academy in collaboration with the parents and all our community partners. 

As I reflect on nearly 30 years since founding Kids Academy, I’m deeply appreciative to so many people in my village for helping us to care for and educate generations of young children. Indeed, “it takes a village to raise a child!”