Kathy's Story

Prior to working at Hand-in-Hand, I was a registered nurse. I have worked as a surgical nurse, a pain clinic nurse, and a nurse working with the geriatric population. I love people and caring for them, as well as assisting in their health and well-being. Although I loved being a nurse for 20 years, I decided to make a change due to the physical demands nursing can place on your body. Don’t get me wrong, these kids will keep you hopping all day long, but it’s somehow easier for me at this stage of life.

I love the children at Hand-in-Hand, as well as my two grandchildren, who I spend many hours with. Children are like sponges: so willing to learn, so teachable. And no day working with kids is ever the same as the next. The greatest part of my job is being a positive role model each and every day; helping the children learn what emotions are and assisting to deal with them in a positive way; encouraging them to explore and figure out why things happen; and helping them to deal with conflict and teaching them how to resolve it with an understanding of their peers’ feelings. I also absolutely love hearing the children yell my name as I enter the room each day and having them run to me to give me a hug. It’s a great

young child and volunteer in childcare room

feeling! Every day there is an opportunity to have fun, teach them how to resolve issues, and watch them grow.

A goal of mine as a childcare provider at Hand-in-Hand is to prepare the toddlers in my classroom for the preschool room. The transition to the preschool room takes about four weeks and happens at a month before they turn 3 years old. It’s very fulfilling to watch the transitions knowing you have done your very best to give a child increased self-esteem, a feeling of belonging and being loved, and skills they’ll need as they progress through preschool. It’s also very rewarding to see them become more and more independent and, before you know it, they’re off to school! It’s a proud but bittersweet moment.

Hand-in-Hand has a great group of staff members who all bring different personalities and skills, and work as a team. We all provide a wonderful support system to the children but also to each other. This place is not only a caring place to grow; it’s a heck of a lot of fun too!

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