My name is Theresa Monforte-Caraballo and I am the Executive Director of Grandma’s Love, Inc., a local nonprofit in Bay Ridge that serves many communities. As a mother, grandmother and former educator I understand how important early learning is to the development of the whole child. My children all attended Pre-k when they were little but the programs were very different. So much has changed and I must admit, I do like what I see. A year ago my youngest grandson attended Pre-k at the Z067 center on 84th Street in Dyker Heights. I had the pleasure of attending various classroom activities while he was there and was excited the moment I walked in. The school overall is a child’s dream, colorful, their work proudly displayed and teachers who are sweet and welcoming to both students and visitors. The classroom was large enough to accommodate the areas of play I would want with enough space within each for children to enjoy themselves. I was amazed at the end of the year in all the progress my grandson made and how observant his teachers were in knowing his needs throughout the year.
Recently, Grandma’s Love, Inc. had the pleasure to do a “Read-A-Long” with the children and parents at Z072 on Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge. I read the book “Friends by Eric Carle” to the children and we discussed the book a bit after the reading. Well, I was amazed at the questions and answers the children had for me. I had to think about the fact that I was in Pre-K and not Kindergarten. They were such a smart group. The children were proud to show me around their room and explain to me how they worked hard every day. When I awoke that morning it had snowed the night before, but I had the best snowy day anyone could have asked for. At the end of our time together each child received a baggie filled with books from Grandma’s in partnership with the “Chris Long Foundation”. I look forward to seeing some of these children in Kindergarten next school year and the teachers invited me back for more story time, which I am so excited for.
Early learning is extremely important in a child’s life and that learning happens in many different ways all day long. Literacy skills are built through story time, puppet shows, sing-a-longs and arts & crafts together. It happens at home when you are cooking with your children and talking with your children about various topics, it’s about sharing time and looking through the pages of a book and going on an adventure without ever leaving home. Children need critical early learning skills to be successful in life and our District 20 Pre-K centers provide all of this and more for our children. We at Grandma’s Love, Inc. and myself are honored to be part of helping our children reach for the stars.
Theresa Monforte-Executive Director of Grandma's Love, Inc.