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Growing through a pandemic

Early Care and Education at Rainbows is not just about learning to read and write. It is a place for mastering developmental milestones, such a taking a bottle, moving from crawling to walking, learning sounds and turning those sounds into sentences that express emotions and needs. It is a path towards developing empathy and understanding. It is a feeling of security, acceptance and love. Rainbows is a place for children to grow.

On May 21, 5-year-old Avery crossed the stage to receive her certificate at Rainbows’ Pre-Kindergarten Graduation ceremony, celebrating her accomplishments at Rainbows and looking to a future bright with promise. Avery began her Rainbows’ journey as an infant. Her parents, Corinne and Eric, heard about Rainbows from a friend who had sent her children to Rainbows and highly recommended it. “It is hard for any parent to send a young child off to a daycare while they are at work knowing that their children will spend a significant amount of time with these people – knowing that our children were in good hands at Rainbows has put our minds at ease,” said Corinne.

“My husband and I were laughing about this the other day,” said Corinne. “Before Avery started at Rainbows, our strong-willed child was refusing to take a bottle which meant two very stressed parents – worried about how she would eat once she started at daycare. The first day we dropped her off, Ms. Charlesetta and Ms. Mary both reassured us that they’d have her taking the bottle in no time. Two days later (after some unknown magic trick) she was taking the bottle like a champ and now all we can do is laugh about how thankful we are that these miracle workers at Rainbows were able to accomplish the unimaginable.”

Corinne and Eric originally fell in love with the fact that Rainbows was a safe place for children with disabilities and they knew that Avery being surrounded by people different than her would be valuable. Avery’s teachers often comment that Avery goes out of her way to help with the children with disabilities. “I think her exposure to the diversity at Rainbows has helped her with empathy & understanding the uniqueness of each person’s gifts,” said Corinne. “Avery’s love and passion for helping people and things has bloomed during her 5 years at Rainbows.”

Avery’s brother, Luke, who is 2 years old, goes to Rainbows as well. “I love the fact that Avery and Luke go to school just one classroom apart,” said Corinne. “Some days when I pick them up I hear from Avery about how Luke was upset after waking up from a nap and the teachers came to get Avery to help him calm down. It’s been a blessing for them to be together throughout the last few years.”

Avery is one of the many children who has had to navigate the reality of living through a pandemic. By working with Rainbows’ Mental Health Specialist Alice Boutz, Avery has made significant progress in her ability to deal with uncertainty, how to handle hard situations (death, pandemic) and has really been able to focus on healthy relationships with peers which will become increasingly important the older she gets and the more she will be exposed to new and different people. “Avery had a lot of concerns with the upcoming change to Kindergarten and leaving Rainbows,” said Corinne, “so Ms. Alice has helped her learn how to communicate, talk through her emotions and find ways to manage her stress to take action on what she can control.”

“These teachers are a fundamental part in my children’s lives and I’m so thankful they’ve dedicated their time and passion to helping children grow into the people they are meant to be,” said Corinne. “I truly believe that Rainbow’s motto of bringing potential to life by elevating the uniqueness of children and their families is fundamental to the way it operates and how it positively impacts those it serves.”

Avery currently wants to be an Aquatic Veterinarian as she has a deep love for the outdoors, animals and helping people/things.

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