Adventures of Ollie and Moose

Those of us charged and honored with the challenge of delivering a program that provides parents and caregivers of very young children with skills that promote cognitive and social-emotional development get accustomed to seeing outcomes in terms of statistics. The generous people and organizations who bankroll our operation demand we constantly prove our program delivers the intended outcomes. This is as it should be.

Every now and then, however, one of the 20,000 or so people who receives a free program visit of ours each year sends us a “thank you” and our efforts are rewarded at a personal level. In conversations around the water cooler, my staff and program volunteers marvel at how small gestures such as this remind us that the work we are doing is not about messaging effectiveness or delivery systems or evaluation methodologies, but about helping children “light up” their individual expression and curiosity before they ever see a classroom.

That’s why I’ve chosen to share an item I found in my inbox today: This morning Angelica, our Community Engagement Manager, forwarded one such unsolicited message from a woman in our program. At our volunteer trainings, we often say a sign of our success is when a child becomes a story teller rather than one who passively listens to stories. I don’t think we could find a better example of that notion than the video of this woman’s daughter “reading” to the family dog.

Thank you for the book I received after the birth of our daughter… She is now 1 and loves reading. Here is a little video of her reading to our dog. http://youtu.be/U86hfX_qmwY THANK YOU!

To our colleagues: Could anyone ever question that when this girl has assembled the vocabulary to fully express her thoughts that she won’t meet whatever standard of school readiness any of us could ever devise? Talk about a Bright Beginning or a child who is Bright by Three!