Since opening Reach for the Stars Child Development Center in the fall of 2009, Lisa and her team of Playmakers have cared for hundreds of children whose lives have been impacted by drugs, violence, neglect, abuse, and other early childhood traumas.
“We’ve had the good fortune of caring for many kiddos who’ve never gone a day without knowing the safety and joy that comes with being truly cared for by the adults in their lives – and we’ve cared for far too many others, who show up on day one having never experienced that level of trust. It’s not just my job to show those kids something different—it’s my purpose.”
Lisa is of the first to admit that dedicating one’s career to childcare is immensely rewarding.
“It’s hard to put into words how powerful it is to watch children go from being scared, shy, and reserved to being open, confident, and fully engaged with their joy. It’s optimism, hope, love and gratitude in action.”
Lisa is also extremely candid about the feelings of isolation that can come with the profession.
“In all my years as a teacher and a leader in the field of childcare, I can still struggle at times with being seen as, “just a babysitter.” As if there’s any “just” when it comes to caring for kids. Being truly present and engaged with our children as parents, as childcare professionals, even as adults modeling positive behavior can be a challenge and is ALWAYS a practice – and an important one. Kids are excited to share their thoughts, their ideas, about what happened during the day. They deserve to have the adults in their lives truly be present with them, and as adults we also deserve to be present for ourselves and with each other.
Wanting Reach for the Stars to be a place where EVERYONE (kids and adults) could truly be seen and appreciated, Lisa connected with The Life is Good Kids Foundation.
Over the years Lisa has engaged in many Life is Good Kids Foundation Playmaker retreats and events to help her stay connected to an extended community of professional childcare providers and to keep fueling her own passion and creativity in creating optimal environments for the kids she cares for.
“Part of my Playmaker Practice – of how I continue to nourish my own sense of joy and playfulness is through new connections. I love meeting new people and finding creative ways to bring new experiences to kids. One of my favorite ways to do this is through our Reach for the Starts Grandparent Playdates.”
Through partnerships that Lisa has established with leading senior communities (some that specialize in treating Alzheimer’s patients), these “Grandparent” Playdates offer a chance for kids (of ALL ages, preschoolers through retirement) to come together and do crafts, read books, and simply have fun.
“It’s a reminder that joy knows no age.”
In fact, Lisa is so committed to the power of relationships and joy-spreading that in addition to her work at Reach for the Stars she joined forces with other LiGKF Playmakers in her home state of New Hampshire to organize regular, local meet-ups and an annual New England weekend retreat for members of the Playmaker community to refuel and reconnect.
Thank you, Lisa for putting your Playmaker Practice in action and growing the good for our kids and for the professionals who care for them!
You can send Lisa a note of gratitude and nominate a Playmaker in your life for a future spotlight by clicking the ‘Submit’ button below.