On Thursday, October 16, All Our Kin hosted its annual Kinship in New Haven benefit at Bentara Restaurant. We invited Lottie Brown, a child care provider based in New Haven, to say a few words about her decision to start her own family child care business and her involvement with All Our Kin. The following post is a transcript of her speech.
My name is Lottie Brown, and I am the very proud owner of Krayola Park, which is located here in the city of New Haven. I am fast approaching my second year of business, and I am super, super excited and honored that I am here tonight to see all of your faces.
I want to say that All Our Kin as an organization is one of the greatest organizations in the world. I know some of you may say that that’s an overstatement, but by far, it is true. I have lived a couple of places – even though I was born here in New Haven, I’ve lived in South Carolina and I’ve been up and down the East Coast. I found myself moving back and forth, back and forth. But I couldn’t plant myself anywhere and I couldn’t sell myself. So long story short, there was a decision that had to be made, and that decision was:
You need to stop running.
You need to be still and plant yourself somewhere so that you can grow.
Thanks to All Our Kin, I was able to take a dream of over ten years and make it a reality. I am thankful. Thank you again. All Our Kin has been such an asset to me and to my family. I don’t have any children that I have birthed, but I have been in foster care and I have done many, many years of working with young children. I worked for the New Haven Board of Education for eleven years, and I found in those eleven years that by age three, children were already set. They were already molded in a way where you couldn’t make as great an impact. You could make an impact, but not a great one. You couldn’t provoke a real change in their home life and where they end up.
At that point, I decided to resign from the Board of Education, and I started working at private day cares. I found that even in a private day care setting, it was hard to make a great impact because it was so hard to get other people to adopt new views on how children learn. With that being said, I wanted to start my own day care. But even though I had the name for ten years, I was so afraid.
Then I went through the Business Series. Oh my goodness! It was awesome. Amazing. Even though every facet of this organization has been an asset to me and my day care, the Business Series came first, and it was essential. That course gave me the courage I needed to start Krayola Park. It took away my fear.
Besides the Business Series, I’ve gone to the network meetings, I’ve attended their annual conferences. These are just a few of the things that All Our Kin offers and that I have benefited from. And the list goes on. The Garden Project. The trainings. The services. All the phone calls that I make, sometimes on a daily basis. The staff have been so wonderful.
I’m not married, and I don’t have any children, but I kind of adopted All Our Kin as a husband. Krayola Park is the baby, I’m the mommy, and All Our Kin is the daddy. And here we have this beautiful family that has helped to birth a day care here in the city of New Haven. And not just any day care. It’s a high quality day care, where young children are learning and getting what they need. Krayola Park looks like all the faces that are in here. It’s not just one race, it’s not just one background, it’s not just one ethnicity. It’s everything that is represented here tonight.
I want to take this opportunity again to say thank you to everyone here tonight. I didn’t know very much about any of the sponsors until tonight, but I’m very grateful for all of you, and for everyone on the board, and for All Our Kin as a whole. I’m grateful to each and every one of you that is here tonight. Thank you.