How do we work to fulfill our mission?

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    Cheryl Demuth

    Livingston Street’s mission is the following:

    At Livingston Street Early Childhood Community, emotional well-being and social competence are nourished in young children through the creation of meaningful relationships with a diverse group of people, the development of early literacy and communication skills, and school wide participation in the process of community service.

    The vignettes below illustrate how Livingston Street operates to fulfill its mission, and the kind of care you can expect to receive from our community.

    • During a tour shortly after Livingston Street opened, a family asked the Executive Director about the teachers and children going for walks around the neighborhood and commented, “I don’t want (my child) meeting people I don’t know. Some of the people around here are not safe.” The response to this comment was, “Well, it sounds like Livingston Street isn’t the right fit for your family.”
    Livingston Street will NOT tolerate racism, prejudice, or intolerance either veiled or apparent EVER.

    • Another family who planned for care at Livingston Street were worried: their child used a wheelchair. “He’s never been in group childcare before. Will other children treat him differently? Will he be able to go on all the adventures you have? Can he navigate the outdoor play area without his wheelchair?” We responded by saying, “Let’s see how things go. If it doesn’t work, your child will let you know and let us know.” Guess what? That child, his sister, and the entire family had a blast at Livingston Street and we all figured it out together. 
    Livingston Street understands and respects that it takes a lot of trust to allow a child who has physical or health differences from a typically developing child to be cared for by people outside their familial friends and family.

    • Another family who was paying for care for their two children suddenly lost a job. Apologetically, they told the Executive Director that they would need to leave Livingston Street because they could no longer afford the tuition.  The response was to reduce the tuition, arrange a barter agreement in which the family conducted music classes, and fold them more tightly into our community. 
    No one should be turned away from Livingston Street for non-payment or lack of affordability.

    • In the middle of the school-year, another family asked Livingston Street to stop their child from napping. Bedtime and the simple act of sleeping was too difficult at home. They believed that the child didn’t need a nap anymore. We responded by asking about the bedtime routine at home and the nightly and daily sleep habits of both the child and the family, listening carefully to their responses and making suggestions. Livingston Street did not stop napping the child. Instead, listened and offered science and research-based evidence about sleep and sleep-related behaviors in young children which, when implemented, changed the lack of sleep at home.
    Livingston Street works with families to better understand child development and how to foster healthy growth both in the classroom and at home. 

    • One day, while playing in a local park, a little girl swung over a rung on a playset and caught herself on her hands and knees. Typically this particular child would not cry about this sort of fall, which was minor. But she did! She cried hard. The Executive Director sat with her and soothed her crying and called her mom, who said, “Oh no! Poor baby… I’m on my way to get her right now! She fell hard yesterday and I didn’t think anything of it. But this morning she was refusing to use her hand to put on her shoes. When I get her, we’re going immediately to the doctor.” The teachers at Livingston Street know each child for whom we care.  We know that they like pink and unicorns; we also know that when they get hurt or fall down, they typically cry or they don’t. So, when a child who doesn’t typically cry begins to cry, we know something is wrong and we act.
    Livingston Street creates a safe place for injury. Injury and/or pain is the first way humans make mistakes. If we never get hurt, we won’t learn that falling from a certain height can be painful and/or cause us harm. Ultimately, we learn how to avoid significant injury by challenging our bodies and making small mistakes… or simply, creating a safe place for injury. If there is ever a health problem or a health- or injury-related caregiving issue or question, we call families immediately… even if we are in a public park and away from the school building. We do not allow children to suffer if they are clearly injured or sick. Most importantly, we know that working together as a team between teachers, families, and community, will get us through scary events like a broken bone… or even a global pandemic. Goals: 1, 2, 3

    You can expect Livingston Street to prioritize relationships. The mission and goals emphasize our connection with others – both for children and their families. All good relationships are built on mutual trust. In fact, trust is the very basis of solid social/emotional development in humans. When an infant arrives in this world, they look to a primary caregiver to meet their needs. If their needs are consistently met, a relationship of trust develops. If those needs are not met, the young child develops mistrust. Over time and as the child continues to grow, the trust or distrust in the primary relationship impacts ALL other development including academics in school, physical health, and emotions. Thus, Livingston Street is built on a trusting relationship. 

    And trusting adult relationships are built on clear communication of expectations.

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by jseverson.
    • This topic was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Sally Chakwin.
    • This topic was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Sally Chakwin.
    • This topic was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Sally Chakwin.
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