SPARK: Tell us about yourself.

Beth: I began studying early childhood education, development, and intervention ten years ago at The Ohio State University at Marion, continued my studies at Kent State, and Walsh University where I became licensed as an Early Childhood Educator and Intervention Specialist. I have a passion for advocating for children and to be a voice for those whom have yet to learn how to use theirs; sometimes that is the child, sometimes it is the parent or guardian, and sometimes it is both. I have been blessed to be married to my wonderful husband since 2006 and God has blessed us with two amazing children, all three of whom continue to teach me almost everyday. Prior to my work with AHEAD as a SPARK Parent Partner I owned my own small business as an Education Consultant for a youth book publisher.

SPARK: Describe a typical day.

Beth: In this position no two days are alike and that is the beauty of it for me and my family in this season of our life.  I spend most of my work day visiting homes and engaging with families. At each visit we complete a set lesson with the child and their learning advocate ( a parent or guardian) which includes activities designed to help the child develop the skills they will need when they attend Kindergarten.  I meet monthly with our Responsive Services team which provides a link for our SPARK families to receive speech therapy, mental health services, or any other services that might be needed for quality of life and in preparation for Kindergarten. I start and end my day with my family, caring for their needs to the best of my ability and enjoying quality time with them; I also try to fit a workout in as often as possible to tend to my mental, emotional, and physical health.

SPARK: What is your favorite part of being a SPARK Parent Partner? 

Beth: My favorite part of being a SPARK Parent Partner with AHEAD is that I get to partner with families in the Massillon community to improve their quality of life by giving them the tools to work together, as well as with me, to prepare for the beginning of their formal educational journey.

SPARK: What would you say to a parent who is considering enrolling their child in the SPARK Program?

Beth: I would say to them, “I am so excited that you are thinking about giving your child the gift that is the SPARK program! There is so much to gain from participating in this program with your child; from the free book, activities, and materials we bring and leave with your family each month to the support we offer as you and your child transition into a new school. We also work with the area elementary schools on behalf of your family to ensure the smoothest possible transition into Kindergarten. We are looking forward to working with you and your child soon!”