Dear Step One Friends and Family,
As the new year begins, I find myself considering a paradox. Our days at Step One continue to be joyful, positive, and full of hope, as days with young children should be. And yet the truth is, for many of us, these are challenging and uncertain times.
But perhaps this isn’t as much of a contradiction as it might first appear. In our children’s optimism, we see the promise that motivates us to stand up for a better world, even when times get tough. That sense of joy and hope has inspired us at Step One for the past 35 years. As Director, I find myself cherishing the community we build here more now than ever.
On that note, January’s issue of Step One Connect focuses on the work our teachers, families, alumni, and students do to choose love and work for positive change. From the classroom to the halls of government, our Step One community is making a difference, and I’m so excited to share that with you.
In this month’s teacher profile, Anthony Taylor shares his take on anti-bias and change-maker education in the preschool classroom. His inspiring, thoughtful account shows me why Step One’s teachers are our most treasured resource, and why elementary schools recognize Step One graduates as remarkable leaders and classroom citizens.
This edition of our newsletter also interviews teachers Aaron Calvert and Eric Hart about the traditions and impact of music at Step One. As Aaron says, describing playing music with Eric and our TK students: “In that community every afternoon, I get a glimpse of how I want the world to be.”
Current parent Annie Kaplan and her family are perhaps the most remarkable example. In this newsletter, Annie details her successful and ongoing fight to make dental anesthesia safer for children. She and her family, with help from Step One friends, took up this cause after the loss of Caleb Sears, beloved Step One alum. Without diminishing their tremendous loss, they have honored Caleb’s memory by protecting other children and families.
In the words of Step One standard ‘The Magic Penny’ by Malvina Reynolds, “Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more.” At Step One, we’ve seen that the more love we give, the more love flows into our families, our communities, and our world. We band together in that spirit, and whatever challenges the year brings, the Step One community will be working together to face them.
In Love and Strength,