Hi, everyone. I just wanted to introduce myself. I’m Marielle and I am a new intern at All Our Kin. I chose to work at All Our Kin (more like I was lucky enough to come and work here) because I am interested in early childhood education and community empowerment, two of All Our Kin’s defining features.
Recently, I’ve been coming to work excited because I was lucky enough to attend an All Our Kin Network meeting. I have to admit that at first I was nervous to go. It became obvious very quickly that my nerves were unfounded. I was welcomed into the meeting and urged to participate in all of the activities. And I am so glad that I did.
The meeting, led by Maureen Myers, an early childhood center director and trainer, focused on new ways to bring movement into family child care. True to the meeting’s topic Maureen had us up and trying out all of the games she introduced. When she announced that her first game required us to “buzz like bees because bees love flowers” while sorting different colored flowers, I began to look around, was anyone really going to start buzzing? Was I going to be the only person hands folded like wings, humming, while running around the room? But to my surprise I wasn’t. Despite the heat and the fact that most of the providers had come from a long day working with children, everyone enthusiastically participated in the activities and, what’s more, everyone really enjoyed them.
It was obvious from the way all of the providers were buzzing around the room, unselfconsciously, animatedly that these early educators love their jobs and love their children. It was also clear from the way everyone worked together, across language and cultural differences, that the All Our Kin Network is not so much a network of childcare providers as it is a community. A community brought together by a mutual love and concern for children. A community that I am so lucky to join.
–Marielle Sanchez is a Liman Fellow who studies education policy at Brown University.