You likely won’t find a stronger, more passionate advocate for Gladden Community House or its preschool program then Tanya Rose. And for good reason. Tanya grew up in the Franklinton neighborhood near the settlement house and remembers her parents using the food pantry and other services in hard times.
Then she placed her son in Gladden’s preschool and was so impressed with the program and the director, she decided she needed to be a part of it as well.
“The teachers were really amazing. The director was amazing,” said Tanya, who was working at a different child care center at the time. “I really wanted to be involved at a preschool to get children ready for kindergarten. When I saw the improvements being made in my son, it really encouraged me to be a part of that, not just for him but for other children, too.”
Tanya is currently the director of the preschool program and has been working at Gladden for 14 years. It’s not just her very important role in helping children be ready socially, emotionally and developmentally for kindergarten that makes her excited about working there. Tanya also appreciates the holistic services the nonprofit provides for families.
When parents come to her looking for a preschool for their child, they’re often worried about being able to afford it. Then other worries often emerge, including the ability to pay for food, rent or utilities.
“I feel fortunate to work in a place where I can point families in the right direction and say, ‘it’s okay,’” explains Tanya. “I want to be able to help the family as a whole. And because I needed those types of services growing up, being able to give back a little bit feels good.”
She understands the day-to-day struggles families experience and also knows first hand how important a quality early learning program is to both children and their parents. It took a huge weight off her shoulders knowing her son was in a good program that was preparing him for kindergarten and setting him up with a firm foundation for success while she was working.
Thanks to support from United Way and other funders, Gladden’s preschool program is both affordable and high-quality, providing parents with the assurance that their children are receiving the care and education necessary to succeed in school and in life. In turn, that assurance allows parents to find a job or maintain a job that keeps the family stable and thriving.
Tanya describes it as United Way funding impacts Gladden so that Gladden can impact children and families. We agree that it takes the entire community – nonprofits, corporations, donors and caring people like Tanya — working together to ensure all children receive the opportunities and resources they need to reach their full potential.