By Stacie Bivin-Flick, Early Childhood Psychologist for Cincinnati Public Schools
While completing my visit at Rockdale Academy's Head Start preschool program, I came across a child whose family was listed as homeless. I called the mother to determine what we could do to help. The mother stated that she had been unable to pay the utilities at her previous housing and had been evicted. She and her three young children were staying in a shelter. The mother kept her composure until she told me that her 6-year-old daughter's birthday was in a few days. The young girl told her mother that she didn't want any presents for her birthday…she just wanted her own home.
I was, of course, deeply moved by this and decided to solicit help from our Early Childhood Education staff. I sent out an email to everyone and just asked them to donate anything they could. The response was overwhelming. Teachers and staff donated almost everything the family could possibly need, from kitchen supplies to bunk beds. The mother was able to find affordable housing and, within a month, she was in her new apartment with all of the furnishings donated by the Early Childhood Education Staff. Our staff members truly love their preschool students.