Oliver began preschool with Growing Together Preschool in 2014 when he was about six months old. Initially, Oliver did not show much separation anxiety when it was time for him to be dropped off, but it was only a matter of time before drop-off became a struggle for everyone. Because of the stress around drop off, one of the most important lessons that Growing Together staff taught us as a family in the early days was how to say “goodbye” and “see you soon” and “I love you” in our own way without dragging out the leaving process. Staff, including Ms. Jenny and Ms. Cindy, helped us overcome this struggle, and Oliver was able to go straight to playing while mom and dad could go to work without feeling like we were having to pry our baby out of our arms.
Aside from these important lessons for our new family, Growing Together was a place where Oliver developed many friendships – friends that he would grow up with. But some of the more important relationships he had while at Growing Together were with the teachers that would greet him and care for him every day while helping him learn important life skills through play. As parents, it was clear to us that teachers like Ms. Maria understood the need to develop a good relationship with each of the children as a way to connect with them and help them learn. We believe that the Growing Together teachers Oliver had during his early childhood years were critical to his continued growth and success as he transitioned to elementary school.
Oliver’s love of learning that he found at Growing Together continued into kindergarten and throughout elementary school. Oliver has excelled in the areas of reading and math – most recently scoring a distinguished in these areas on the Kentucky Summative Assessment. As a 4th grader, Oliver was also formally recognized as gifted and talented and competed in the district science fair – winning 2nd place in engineering out of all 4th grade FCPS students for his well-thought-out project examining the strength of different shapes when building structures like bridges.
We feel that his success and love of learning are the direct results of his time at Growing Together Preschool, not only because he was nurtured and encouraged every day, but also because of the teachers and staff who invested time, attention, and love in him and in our family.