Un Dia de Nieve
When Winter Storm Quinn hit New York City at the beginning of March, it was properly foreshadowed. Only a few days earlier I was sitting in a PCHP staff meeting, discussing an Ezra Jack Keats book entitled “Snowy Day” or “Dia de Nieve” when the site coordinator promised us all that snow always seemed to coincide with the week this book was in the curriculum.
As I followed along during the staff meeting, I was mesmerized by the level of focused planning that went into each book in the curriculum. A topic of emphasis was “pretend play” and as we flipped through each page of the book the site visitors bounced ideas around about how “pretend play” could be incorporated into the pages and plot of the book. While something like “pretend play” may be taken for granted by some, the concept is all about empowerment. Not only is “pretend play” equalizing, in that you don’t need specific props or toys, but it allows children to be whoever they want to be. Moreover, it allows children to develop language skills, inspires empathy, and builds confidence.
Throughout the entire 2-hour staff meeting session I was smiling, laughing, and so grateful to hear the stories and perspectives of the site coordinators and early learning specialists. They were so attentive to every detail, bringing to life learning opportunities on every page. Whether it was focusing on new colors, developing thoughtful questions to engage the child, or considering the best ways to involve the parents, every site visitor was extremely perceptive to how to best incorporate the books into their site visit.
The site coordinators and early learning specialists ultimately make PCHP able to do the amazing work they do in our local communities. It is their dedication, time, passion, and energy that drives the positive outcomes for children and enables them to thrive. I thank them for the work that they do and all the stuff that they do behind the scenes that may sometimes go unnoticed.
Michaela Beck is a Global Capital Markets Analyst at Morgan Stanley. She graduated from Tufts University in 2017 with a B.S. in Quantitative Economics. She recently worked on a project with PCHP through the Morgan Stanley Institutional Nonprofit Collaborative (MS Inc.) program. Michaela is also a member of the PCHP Young Professionals Committee (YPC).