Kim Blanton, Direct Support Professional, has always had a heart for children, and an even bigger heart for children with special needs. As a child in elementary school, Kim became friends with Jacob, a child with special needs. “When Jacob had the opportunity to choose a friend to come swim with him at Levy school, he chose me!” said Kim. “We had so much fun and my passion to work with children with special needs was born.”
Kim earned her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Everett Community College in Washington, and plans to earn her bachelor’s degree and get her teaching license.
From homeschooling her 4 children for 8 years and working in child care for 10 years, Kim has lots of hands-on experience. Currently, she works as a para-educator at a USD 259 special needs preschool and also provides care to Rainbows’ school-aged children after school and during the summer.
While working for Rainbows, Kim explains, “I meet Caleb, my buddy, around 4 p.m. at the bus barn. We hang out there for a while because Caleb loves the bus barn and then we head to his house. I help with homework, any chores he might have, and make sure he takes his medication. Sometimes we may venture out and go to Wal-Mart, DQ or the Dollar Store to work on social skills.”
“My favorite activity is to sit on the porch swing and talk,” said Kim. “I love connecting with Caleb and being a human he can count on to give him support as he does life.”
“Kim truly loves the kids,” said Tiffany Graf, Family Support Services Assistant Coordinator and Camp Director. “She is very dependable, which is huge for Caleb and his family. Caleb knows when she’s coming and that she will be there. This gives Caleb and his family the security and continuity they need.”
Kim has 3 grown daughters, a 16-year-old son, 2 grandchildren, and a Goldendoodle named Shiloh. They love going to the lake, hiking and playing games. Kim also enjoys shopping, traveling and spending time with family and friends.