Sue Lena admits that it might sound a little…cheesy…“but at my high school graduation they played Whitney Houston’s The Greatest Love of All, and that line about children being our future, has just always stayed with me. “
Sue has devoted her entire career to helping kids; many of whom have been faced with some of life’s most unfair challenges.
Sue is a teacher and a director.
Over the span of her career, her Kindergarten and pre-school school students have included children who’ve witnessed their parents’ overdosing, who’ve been removed from their families due to neglect and abuse, and who’ve suffered prolonged exposure to toxic stress.
Sue has always believed that all children deserve to grow up feeling safe, loved and joyful – which is why Sue is also a Playmaker.
Even before enrolling in her first Playmaker Workshop hosted by The Life is Good Kids Foundation (LiGKF) in 2009, Sue connected with the importance of creating optimal environments for kids (especially those who’ve experienced trauma) to connect and just play again.
According to Sue:
“The Playmaker Program – the workshops, the retreats, the games and resources – has helped me to focus on inclusive and creative ways to build joy and connection, not just between my students and me, but even more importantly between the kids themselves. There’s no greater reward than seeing a kid go from being the one who purposely sits out, to the one who becomes known for inviting others to join in. You know it’s working by the smiles. First the smiles, then the acceptance. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of.”
Currently, Sue is the classroom leader for the before and after school program at the Reach for the Stars Child Development Center in Manchester, New Hampshire.
She is grateful for how the Playmaker Program continues to help shape her career, and how it keeps her connected to a community of other likeminded childcare professionals. She finds strength in helping kids to see the good in themselves, and in others, so that they are best able to grow the good out in our world.
Whitney’s words still ring true for Sue – and The LiGKF is grateful for all that Sue does to help her students discover all the beauty they possess inside.
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