Through mentoring, formal training and enrichment, Educational First Steps walks with center directors to help our partner centers achieve national accreditation. This is no easy feat and spans several years to accomplish. During this time, mentors spend a significant amount of time at schools and in the classrooms building relationships that help transform care-giving into teaching. Due to economic barriers around the childcare industry, sometimes the impact that Educational First Steps Early Learning Mentors create stretch beyond the classroom setting, helping to meet the need of teachers in a different way.
Lamont has been a preschool teacher in Denton for more than five years. Lamont and his wife are parents to a young child and share one car. Lamont makes the sacrifice to walk to and from work (two hours round-trip) through all seasons and weather conditions so that his wife can use the car for her and their young child. When Educational First Steps’ mentor, Alysia Jordan, learned of his daily commute and dedication to impacting young children, she stepped in to offer a hand. Alysia took Lamont to the store where she purchased him a new bicycle to help improve his travels to and from school. Lamont was moved to tears and so are we as we share this story.
Educational First Steps’ mentors create special bonds with teachers and center directors because of their investment in the mission and community. Though not all situations are like Lamont’s, Mentors choose to step in when the need is great. The commitment of our Mentors helps Educational First Steps impact more than 1,000 teachers and center directors across North Texas. Support from community partners help Educational First Steps provide mentoring services, training, and resources free of charge to create better learning environments for more than 7,000 children in our community.