Thirty-nine-year-old Sharon Glenn is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati and the proud mother of three-year-old John-Vair. She came to Santa Maria before John-Vair was even born to be part of our Every Child Succeeds (ECS) program. ECS is a program for children from pre-birth to age three that strives to ensure an optimal start in life – physically, emotionally, and cognitively — for every child. It includes personalized, in-home support for expectant and new moms.
Sharon knew she was going to need some help as soon as she found out she was pregnant. Her support system was limited, and she knew she would need assistance with diapers and other supplies. What she got from Santa Maria was so much more. “I got a lot out of the program for myself, not just my son,” Sharon said. “It helped me be a better person, period.” In addition to helping her reach milestones with her son, ECS helped her learn how to control her anger and be more patient, not just with her son, but with everyone.
One of the things ECS taught Sharon is to let John-Vair be more independent. A great example of that is when John-Vair started to use a cup. “He took forever to get off the bottle,” Sharon said. When the time was right, he told his mother, “Mommy I don’t want this no more,” and threw away his bottle himself. Sharon proudly reports that John-Vair can also say his ABCs frontwards and backwards and can count up to 20, and sometimes even higher.
One of Sharon’s fondest memories in ECS was painting a flower pot with her son. She also loved working with Amanda Kaufenberg, Santa Maria Family Support Worker. Sharon said that John-Vair is not quick to warm up to people, but he liked Amanda right away and would cry when she left his home. Amanda helped Sharon make better decisions and learn more about her son. Sharon said she was able to better understand John-Vair with Amanda’s help. Sharon learned to take a step back and allow John-Vair to learn how to do things on his own. “This is what ECS is here to do,” said Amanda. “We strive to help our clients better themselves and feel more competent and proud of their accomplishments each day.”
Sharon is so glad she sought out ECS at Santa Maria. “I would have been lost without Every Child Succeeds,” she said. Sharon is looking forward to accomplishing John-Vair’s new goal: getting ready for kindergarten! Sharon hopes to tackle this goal in Santa Maria’s Promoting Our Preschoolers (POP) program. POP ensures that 3-to-5-year-olds develop the literacy, cognitive and social-emotional skills needed for future success in school.
Amanda has high hopes for the pair going forward, “I hope that Sharon and John-Vair continue to grow in their relationship; that they continue to see their strengths and build on them.”