A Note from our Executive Director
It’s hard to believe that I have been at Isla Vista one whole year! . So much has happened in such a short time.I think I’m most proud of the ways we have grown and changed to meet the emerging needs of the families in the Goleta Valley. In response to working parents urgent need for childcare, we opened a new infant classroom last May. In order to better serve the many families seeking support throughout the Goleta Valley, we moved our Family Resource Center to Old Town Goleta. In fact, I’d like to invite you to join me at an Open House for our FRC. (See the article below.)
Each week I write to our Board and staff to share my thoughts about what I am learning, to ensure that everyone knows what is going on across the agency, and to reflect on what is happening in the world around us.
Here are some excerpts of my letters over the past year and what I have learned:
I have learned that our children are resilient.
Feb. 25, 2018 (there had recently been a mass shooting) “Our preschool students practiced an intruder drill this morning. Honestly, it made me want to cry. The kids were great and seemed unfazed. Of course, we need to have safety drills - I just wish this one weren't part of our collective consciousness.”
I have learned that our parents are generous and welcoming.
June 8, 2018 – “My favorite part of the week was joining Ana Maya’s co-parenting final class celebration. Five couples participated in this class and it was so great to meet them, to see Ana in action (she is such a gifted leader and educator) and to eat with the families. They had a pot luck and the food was amazing!”
I have learned that our staff is incredibly dedicated and passionate.
June 21, 2018 (To staff) “My heart aches for the children who are experiencing toxic stress – the fear of immigration, the fear of being separated from parents – and no caring, trusted adult who can help them buffer their feelings. This is causing damage that will affect the health of these children for their entire lives. I imagine that you are just as upset, angry and heartbroken as I am. I want to thank you for your work every day buffering the children and families in our community. I doesn’t surprise me that many of you have experienced real behavior challenges in your classrooms this week. Children are feeling the stress that we all feel, and they express it by acting out. Our job is to provide a sense of safety and comfort for the families we serve in the FRC and all the children we serve in our summer program and in our children’s center. Our community is surviving because of you.”
Over the last year I have learned this and so much more. Now I look forward to 2019 as another year of learning from challenges, celebrating achievements, and building community. I so appreciate your support, your donations and your kind words as we move forward together.
I wish you all a healthy, happy and prosperous 2019!