From the Director…
A few days ago while doing my grocery shopping, a woman pushing her own cart around approached me and said, “I feel like I know you. Were you a teacher?” I told her I was and had taught in both Hancock and Hillsborough. Her eyes became wide and she got a big smile on her face and said, “You’re Mrs. MacGillvary! You were my second grade teacher.” She then told me her name and I do remember the seven year old that she used to be – a sweet, kind to everyone, and very giggly little girl. She went on to say, “You were one of my favorite teachers. You taught me how to count to 100 and I was so proud of myself. And your long blond hair – I loved your hair.” We chatted for another few minutes and then we pushed our carts our own way. About 10 minutes later I saw her start to pass the aisle I was now in and she stopped and walked up to me again. This time she looked more serious and as she spoke, she had tears in her eyes. She said to me, “I just can’t leave here today, knowing that I might never see you again, without saying this to you. I had a hard childhood and you always made me feel so special and important and that has stayed with me and has helped me as I raise my own children. Sometimes just sitting on your lap would make such a difference in how I was feeling.” Then she smiled and continued, “And you even let me touch your hair!” We hugged before parting once again.
As an early childhood educator, I often wonder what long-term impact I have had on children (and their families) and if they even remember me by the time they are adults. This woman, who was in my second grade class during the 1990-1991 school year, reinforced in me what I always want to believe – and do believe: Teachers/caregivers of young children are remembered and even if the child only has a few actual memories – or none at all – the way they felt in our presence and under our care and tutelage will live on in them forever and affect how they face life’s ups and downs along the way. The way we sing to a baby as we rock them to sleep; delight in a child’s success at using the toilet for the first time; wipe tears and hug closely a child who is missing mommy and daddy; dig alongside children as we help to find a worm for them to touch; snuggle up with a favorite book; offer support and encouragement as they try something new and challenging…all of these things and so, so, so much more become a part of their brains and hearts and souls.
In the Harrisville Children’s Center’s personnel handbook there is a section on Teacher Qualities. Here are a few of the qualities we expect from all of our staff:
To make each child feel special and important, the teacher must be warm, welcoming, and interested in all of the children. The teacher’s words and actions need to show the children that they are loved and accepted for who they are.
The teacher allows the children to express their full range of emotions. The teacher helps the children better understand the emotions they are having and how to learn from them. It is not the teacher’s job to “fix” everything or to make everyone happy all of the time.
The teacher should refrain from excessive praise and rewards. Children should strive to learn and develop in all areas (social, behavioral, cognitive, etc.) because they feel good about their own growth and progress and who they are, not because they are getting a sticker or ‘good job’ from the teacher.
The teacher must show through their words, actions, and interactions that they feel joy in their work with young children.
The Harrisville Children’s Center has the reputation of having educated, high-quality, loving teachers. Only the best are invited to join our tight knit community of early childhood educators. I’d like to introduce you to our amazing 2019-2020 teachers:
Infants (Rosebuds): Claire Gargan, Lead Teacher; Andrea Clifford, Afternoon Associate Teacher; Matthew Stanley, Assistant; Lyn Frederick, Assistant
Toddlers (Buttercups): Erika Curtiss, Lead Teacher; Ruth Klingler, Afternoon Associate Teacher; Gina Wright, Assistant
Younger Preschool (Sweet Peas): Jessica Kipka, Lead Teacher, Ellen Winston, Afternoon Associate Teacher; Lilli Somero, Assistant Teacher
Older Preschool (Sunflowers): Candice Gagne, Lead Teacher; Heather Dalrymple, Assistant Teacher
Here’s to a new school year filled with discoveries, learning experiences, fun with friends, and adventures for children and teachers alike. And hats off to all educators – past, present, and future – who have chosen or will choose this career path and ultimately have a huge impact on so many young lives…including my own first grade teacher, Mrs. Silver, who not only taught me how to read, but also cleaned me up and gave me TLC after I got sick all over my shoes as I stood in line to go outside. xo -Linda MacGillvary, Director
HCC on Facebook
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Lobster Dinner & Clambake Raffle
Congratulations to our 2019 to our 2019 raffle winners – Stephen and JoAnn Turner of Maine (grandparents to two HCC alumni). Thank you to everyone who participated. All 1,000 tickets were sold for the first time!
Annual Giving Campaign 2018-2019
HCC’s 2018-2019 Annual Giving Campaign began on December 1, 2018. To date we have raised $16,113 from 129 donors. Thank you to our newest donors:
It Takes a Village (up to $100) Robin and Guy Huntley, Pamela Worden and Charles Faucher
If you have not yet donated to our 2018-2019 Annual Campaign there is still a little bit of time. Please help us reach our goal this year of $17,000. We are just over 94% of the way there! Thank you.
HCC Receives Grants
The Putnam Foundation, through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, has generously provided the $2,400.00 in funding needed for the Harrisville Children’s Center to offer two additional Music Together classes per month. By having the classes once each week on varying days, children who attend HCC part-time still have the opportunity to participate in this amazing music program with teacher Nancy Salwen.
Established in 1962, the NH Charitable Foundation is driven by a vision for a stronger, more just, and resilient Granite State. In pursuit of this vision, the Foundation invests charitable assets for today and tomorrow; connects donors to effective organizations, ideas and people; and leads and collaborates on important public issues. Annually, the Foundation awards nearly 5,000 grants and scholarships totaling $30 million. Based in Concord, the Foundation roots itself in communities across the state through its staff, board of directors, and eight regional advisory boards. We are so grateful to The Putnam Foundation and The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation for all that they do to support the Harrisville Children’s Center!
Also through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, HCC received an anonymous grant of $1,500 provided by the John and Maude Corser Fund. This grant was earmarked for general support and will be used for classroom materials and family events. Thank you to The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the John and Maude Corser Fund for this unexpected gift.
HCC also received a grant in the amount of $400 from Elm City Rotary Club and Rotary Club of Keene’s Success By Six Committee. This funding will be used for seven preschool environmental education classes with the Harris Center for Conservation Education during the 2019-2020 school year. The Harris Center programs provide our children the opportunity to develop skills as scientists and problem solvers and to experience the natural world as a source of inspiration, creativity, and well-being. Past lessons have included white-tailed deer, worms, pond life, animals in winter and preparing for winter, predators and prey, and bats. We value these important lessons for our children and are so thankful to the Rotary Club for providing the funding so they can happen.
Lastly, HCC received an anonymous $10,000 grant provided by L and G Fund through Indian River Community Foundation. This grant money goes directly to our Tuition Assistance Program to support our low to moderate income families. Thank you to the L and G Fund for this very generous grant!