Site of the Month: Montair, Part II
Last week, we met a few of Kids’ Country’s Montair leaders, teachers and parents, and explored some of the site’s unique programs. This week we focus on the individualized opportunities offered to the children at Montair, and the unique community that has been created to support working families in and around Danville.
An Individualized Opportunity to Explore
The kids at Montair love the freedom to explore their own interests. Assistant Site Director Ryan Gipson says, “Children discover ways to use things that adults would never think of. I put up a Lego Wall in the big kids’ room and some of them combined Legos with yarn to make a little pulley system. They spent weeks using it to raise and lower various things to see how much weight it could support.”
Parents of siblings welcome the ways staff support their children’s different interests. Maleko Walker, a 2nd grader, was the only child from Montair to participate in Kids’ Country’s 5K Run for the Sun. Teacher Aide Trevor Crothers coached Maleko. His mother Janet Walker appreciated that Maleko had this opportunity, noting, “The staff really gave him special treatment.” Maleko is interested in computers and now – after Run for the Sun – wants to participate in flag football, while his twin sister Madeline loves playing cards. Each of the Walker twins is given the freedom to pursue individual passions.
Parent Jamie Hora says, “My two sons are completely different in personality. My older son, Tommy (now in 6th grade), is very high energy and athletic. My younger son, Joe, is more mellow and creative. The variety of activities and learning experiences Mary Kay and her staff provide keep both of them engaged and happy. There truly is something for every child at Kids’ Country Montair.”
A Sense of Community
Tucked behind downtown Danville with an unrivaled view of Mount Diablo, Montair Elementary School is a close-knit community. For over 20 years, Kids’ Country has been an integral part of Montair, as the exclusive on-site after school care provider. Walking into the two Kids’ Country buildings, kids and parents immediately feel comfortable. The warm, engaging staff strives to create a welcoming environment where everyone feels like part of the family.
The Dilemma Facing Working Parents
Kids’ Country was founded 30 years ago by parents who recognized the urgent need for quality after school child care so that they could balance their professional and personal lives. That need still exists today. Kids’ Country enables many parents to enter or remain in the workforce, providing peace of mind that their children are well cared for. Many families move to the San Ramon Valley for the quality of schools like Montair. Kids’ Country provides a safe, convenient, and engaging place for kids to explore passions so that parents can pursue their own.
“Without Kids’ Country I couldn’t work,” says parent Lisa Hudson. Jamie Hora, who has two sons at Kids’ Country agrees, “As a working parent, it is always difficult leaving your children with others for care. I never feel that way at Kids Country. Both my boys are thriving… They have made many new friends and love going each day.”
For Montair Site Director Mary Kay Moriarity, the combination of strong relationships with parents and teachers build on the skills children are learning in their classrooms, and contributes to creating a unique, supportive community for both the children and their families.
In August we will introduce Kids’ Country’s two new sites opening this coming school year: Rancho Romero in Alamo and Twin Creeks in San Ramon, and look at what it takes to create the physical environment and programs that are uniquely Kids’ Country.