My love of words comes from a long line of storytellers, teachers, actors and writers across my family. As a child, my father used to make up bedtime stories about a group of girls who just happened to be going through similar things I was. My maternal grandmother was quick to correct my spelling and grammar. My paternal grandmother always knew exactly where and how to deliver a punch line.
When I was ten, a close friend nicknamed me “Book” because I was rarely without one. And now, as a parent, few things make me happier than watching my two daughters devour a wide range of books, working to understand themselves and the world around them.
My mother was a life-long educator, most of her career as a special education teacher, who instilled in me the value of reading to learn. She died in 2009, early in my pregnancy with my older daughter. Few things make me sadder than this; that she will never meet her incredible grandchildren, that they will never know her infectious laugh or her persistent dedication to making her community a more just and equitable place for children and families.
It’s in her spirit that I invited my community to join my family in naming a children's library in her memory at First Teacher’s office. The response was tremendous and humbling—contributions from my mother’s childhood best friends, my husband’s family, and so many wonderful relatives and friends.
First Teacher works to create a community where parents learn, teach and connect with each other to help their children become not only school ready, but world ready. The focus of First Teacher--creating connections and meaningful relationships, cultivating life-long learners, preparing young children for school--has got my mom written all over it. It is my sincere hope that this library will be a loved and useful resource; a way to transmit the incredible power of stories, words and connection across generations.