Children develop a love or an aversion for learning in the first few years of life. Therefore, we work to design our program to generate a lifelong desire to explore, question, and create. We plan our classroom environment and age-appropriate curriculum to best support and nurture our children’s interests and needs. We give the children a wide range of opportunities to experience and learn from their environment, which will provide them with skills that will serve them not only in the short-term but also throughout life.
Though I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, I have always found a way for my professional endeavors to revolve around children ~ my true passion! Prior to joining The Learning Gardens in 2012, I was the Director of Continuing Education at Therapeutic Resources, Inc., where I planned and coordinated the company’s educational workshops for Pediatric Occupational Therapists, and other professionals who specialize in caring for children with special needs. I was fortunate enough to occasionally, lend a hand to the therapists with the kiddos in the clinic. I also worked for the Madison Metropolitan School District as a Special Education Assistant, and found working directly with kids very rewarding. Feeding my love for books, I enjoyed stints working at the Madison Public Library and at Barnes & Noble, where I was able to work in their Children’s Departments and lead Parent/Child Book Clubs. When my two daughters, Kristen & Melissa, were little, I was a stay-at-home mom … which was a term I always considered an oxymoron since we rarely stayed at home! I was a volunteer extraordinaire for many of their activities, and as a result held the following titles: Classroom Parent Representative (x2), Brownie & Girl Scout Leader, Sunday School Teacher and was even the PTA President! Yes, those were fun and busy days! My girls and I took advantage of the many wonderful educational activities in and around Madison ~ such a great place to raise a family! In my spare time, I love spending time with my husband, Jeff, getting together with our now, adult daughters and hanging out with our big, golden-doodle dog! I find solace in playing piano or gardening and I am always in the midst of a great book.
I love working with our Butterfly Room kiddos, watching them make discoveries and helping them become more and more independent. I especially delight in watching their faces light up when they accomplish a difficult task and proudly announce, “I did it!” With a lot of love, patience and a good sense of humor, I do my best to make each-and-every child feel good about themselves and help instill in them a love for learning which they can carry into their bright futures!
I have been working with children for many years. My interest started with my mother working as an in-home childcare provider. The friends coming through our home became a part of my family and helped me to learn and understand youth growing up. As soon as I was able, I achieved a Red Cross Babysitting certification and began watching my young friends. I continued babysitting through high school and assisting with my mother’s childcare program until I went off to college. While in college I soon realized that my passion has always been working with children! My passion to work with children has lead me to The Learning Gardens. I really enjoy working with Barb in the Butterfly Classroom! Our young friends are very funny and smart. Every day they are accomplishing new goals and learning new things about themselves. It’s wonderful being able to help them grow and play together. Ever day I look forward to the next and I hope our Butterfly friends do too!
P: 608-238-6700 x115
Leigh, Butterfly Volunteer
Leigh has been a volunteer at The Learning Gardens since 2010! She loves to visit in the Butterfly classroom during the morning hours each week. Leigh enjoys going on nature walks, arts and crafts and participating in JumpBunch. She is a big help in the classroom as she assists the children in their daily tasks. She also likes to be a help in the kitchen with Chef Julie!