Asked to attend a tour of Family Connections by a friend, I expected all of the warm fuzzy feelings I got walking into a classroom buzzing with students ranging from babies to 5 year olds. What I did not expect however, and what ultimately hooked me to Family Connections, were the countless stories I heard from parents and caretakers about how FC had changed them, their families and their communities. I had no idea the depth of services that FC provided to their families including support groups, parent education nights, referrals to community partners for higher level needs, mental health assessments, learning assessments and so much more. It has been my honor to serve on the Board of Directors of this wonderful organization.
Giving and volunteering locally allows me to be more hands-on, spend time with families in the classrooms and at events, and continue to hear their impact stories.
I was introduced to Family Connections as a volunteer at their redwood city preschool site. I enjoyed reading to the children and watching their faces light up. Family Connections is a special place that provides under-served families with opportunities that they would not normally have access to. I love what this organization stands behind... helping put children on equal educational footing by providing free early childhood education and parent support programs to low-income families in San Mateo County. If you want to make a social impact, this is a great non profit to support!
Family Connections is our village - our community - our family. Even today, after graduating from the preschool program, we're still going to each other's birthday parties, running into each other all over town, and most importantly, they're the first people I think about when I hear about great opportunities or my family needs help. We get to catch up at the Young Scholar's Program too.
They make me feel secure. I know that if something ever happened, the full force of Family Connections would catch me - at least 21 moms, dads, grandmas, and caregivers - our entire class.
Many of us walk far distances to attend this school, shuffle rides, and take the bus. It's that important to us because our kids are everything to each of us, and we know that their best chance for a good life is a good education - but we don't know exactly what that looks like, especially in the first three years, so we're grateful for Family Connections because they help us learn what we don't know and give us a place to thrive.
More about Family Connections:
Family Connections is special because 1) it's a participation school, so parents are close too, 2) we attend class together 2 or 3 times a week (depending on the class), so we're also committed to each other and the growth of our kids. 3) we get group counseling and health screens - all at school! And finally, 4) we attend evening sessions together to learn how to handle bullying, mental health, and more - so no question is off the table. Family Connections takes care of the whole person by building the family. It's also tuition-free, so everyone gets the same chance.
If you have young family, you definitely need to at least ask if it's something you could do. The staff are AWESOME!!!!!! The BEST early childhood education has to offer.