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How Teachers Are Making a Difference with Red Nose Day

June 3, 2022
Updated July 11, 2024

On Thursday, May 26 we joined Comic Relief in celebrating Red Nose Day! The Educare Learning Network is proud to be a grantee partner for the fourth consecutive year, with all 25 Educare schools and our Start Early backbone team benefitting from Red Nose Day grant funding to support innovation and infrastructure (such as professional development, SEL curriculum, peer learning and staff wellness) across the country.

This year, we highlighted the impact Educare schools and teachers are making with Red Nose Day grant funding. Setting kids up for success requires an excellent early childhood education (ECE) workforce – and we’re excited to share three spotlight features of three excellent Educare teachers. Check out their responses below!

Diana Garcia – Preschool Assistant Teacher, Educare West DuPage

Diana has been a teacher for nearly 10 years and is a former Head Start student herself. She is passionate about having a solid home-to-school connection and open communication with children and families, and strives to be the kind of teacher she’d want her own daughter to have.

“I want my students to have a positive experience,” she shares. “I want to create a classroom that feels warm, welcoming and safe to them.”

With Red Nose Day funding, Diana helped her school strengthen kids’ social emotional skills, extend her students’ learning beyond the classroom with outdoor play experiences, and help families stay connected through COVID-related challenges.

“Diana is a wonderful example of someone who believes in the mission of our organization, has grown over the years, and has always stepped up to the challenge of learning new things,” says Educare West DuPage School Director Monique Lopez. “She always puts the students’ social-emotional development first.”

Mahogani Searcy – Teacher, Educare Atlanta

Ms. Searcy has been teaching for 15 years, with her two youngest children both previously attending Educare Atlanta at Sheltering Arms. She is dedicated to helping kids grow academically and developmentally, and loves seeing students’ “lightbulb” moments.

“My love for kids and passion to see them succeed drew me to teaching,” Ms. Searcy explains. “I have always wanted to see kids receive higher quality education and child care services.”

With Red Nose Day funding, Ms. Searcy and other Educare Atlanta teachers began using Second Step Kits – a social emotional curriculum that helps teach kids to regulate their emotions, behaviors & feelings – in the classroom. Talk about turning passion into practice!

“Ms. Searcy has taught many children with developmental, social emotional and behavioral concerns,” shares Educare Atlanta School Director Gemorial Johnson. “Her patience with these children is commendable. Her own children experienced challenges in their early years, and that has molded her into the amazing and passionate educator that she is today.”

Claudia Cattage – Early Head Start Lead Teacher/Mentor Coach, Educare Chicago

Claudia has over 20 years of experience working in the ECE field, and has a skilled eye for creating classroom environments that inspire learning, meeting the emotional needs of young children, and supporting children who have experienced trauma.

An educator who conducts action research to grow her own professional capabilities, she also supports colleagues in peer mentoring, panel discussion and trainings.

“Claudia is a dynamic educator,” shares Angela Lampkin, Educare Chicago Atlanta Director. “She is very passionate about the work and how her efforts support children, families and her colleagues.”

Red Nose Day funding supported Educare Chicago to implement Baby Doll Circle Time, a resource for children birth to age three that supports children’s social emotional competency skills – and Claudia has been instrumental in ensuring she is using Baby Doll Circle Time in her classroom.

This year, Claudia was also featured as a guest on the teacher appreciation episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show. Check out the episode recording!