Generations Day Care: Gifts and Reflections


The Summer Youth Employment Program was coming to an end in less than two weeks. With the school year also looming in the distance Catamount Elementary needed to have the cafeteria cleared out and ready before the summer ended. So the Generations Summer Camp was moved back to the day care.

Generations Daycare ran for ten years. Now owned by the hospital, the name has changed to the Learning Tree but it is still located at the end of Gage Street right next to Mount Anthony Union High school. It's a small one floor building with rooms for infants, two year-olds, preschoolers, and the school aged children. There is a fenced in playground outside.

While I was there I met many of the other staff and volunteers. One of the staff members was a girl named Katie, a senior in high school, she wasn't the most helpful person there. When Amanda was out for the day Sarah, myself, and Katie took the kids over to the high school to give the kids a chance to burn off some energy on the racetrack.

Megan bolted ahead of the others.

"Go Megan!" I cheered.

Katie sat up in the bleachers where some friends of hers were sitting and chatted away with them, which annoyed Sarah to no end.

"Does Katie remember she's working?" She asked.

I shrugged, honestly not caring. Katie had come to the summer camp while we were still at Catamount but unlike Amanda, at the end of the day Katie hardly every played with the kids. I got along with her just fine but unlike her, I was there to work with kids, not chat with my friends.

The first real problem I ever faced at the daycare was the implication that I was just a volunteer. The women who worked there were mostly older, in their forties and fifties and in their minds I was just a kid and therefore, a volunteer, not an actual employee.

"You shouldn't be out here alone," Judy said brusquely when I out on the playground with my group and the preschoolers. Judy was a nice person most of the time and I could tell she really cared about the children. But my job description said "Teacher's Assistant" not "Volunteer" and I made sure they knew that.

After about a week or so the doubt was gone. I was just as good with the preschoolers as I was with the school-agers. I even helped out with the toddlers and the infants during snack times. Some of the parents who helped out there really appreciated my being there. Getting their trust was an even bigger plus for me.

I still have so many of the gifts the children gave me.

Preston's treasure map: The one we drew together the first week I was there. I told him what a map key was and showed him how to draw one.

Hearts with the words “World's Greatest Teacher” written on them and given to me by Heather.

Then there were the gifts the parents gave to me. Larissa's mother gave us McDonald's gift certificates along with a yellow jar full of candy that was made just for me.

The hugs were the best gifts of them all.

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