Where I started

My first experience of seeing the enormous beauty in early childhood learning was when I was 15 years old. A single mother in my apartment complex had two children, one of which was autistic thinking without verbal communication. She worked nights as a waitress and I came over everyday after dinner and took care of both kids. Autism was an enormous stress on the household. Although the mother had some resources and intervention, none of it was of quality. I think I made twenty dollars. I looked forward to being with both kids everyday, and I was making so much progress revising what autism meant in the home. The oldest girl and I used to make dance videos together before bed. We would make fun play areas for her brother to find in the morning. We packed lunches. We cleaned up the house and left little gifts for her mom. We listened to and trusted each other. We all had purpose. I came to realize that building these connections, trust, and purpose was where root learning happened. When I was 15,

this was the most important part of my day- Now it’s the most important part of my life.

April received her degree in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University Fullerton and is completing her Masters in Early Childhood Development with and emphasis in Leadership and Organizational Change.

Winner of the Althea B. McLaren award in Arts in Early Childhood and the Robert B. McLaren award in Children’s Moral Development.

In Early Childhood we have innumerable theories and approaches that seek to support the child in reaching their greatest potential- and with good cause. Early childhood is the place where we can fix the worlds worst problems, and it can also be where the world’s worst problems are created and recreated. We have many great thinkers who have contributed to an immense world healing. The many approaches from Montessori to STEAM, Reggio Emelia to Waldorf- All can be extraordinarily beautiful paths to learning.

Now, let’s get to the Root.