Educare Milwaukee boosts parent’s confidence

Like many parents who can feel overwhelmed at times, Kavon Cooper was already a great parent to her children, but didn’t always realize it—until the support and resources she received at Educare helped renew her self-confidence. When her 3-year old daughter, Makajah Bennett, started attending Educare Milwaukee in September, Cooper could tell that her daughter was quickly taking to the school and learning a lot.

“She loves to come here. I think it’s the Educare teachers, her friends and the hands-on activities,” Cooper said. “She’s learning her alphabet, shapes, numbers and colors. She’s learning everything.”

What Cooper didn’t realize was how much the family engagement aspect of Educare would affect her and help her to grow as a person and a parent. Educare staff taught her what types of activities work best for children at different levels and new ways to work with her daughter and 10-year old son to further build her relationships with them. She says the school helped lay the foundation for her as a parent by encouraging her to talk to teachers and staff, and advocate for her children’s learning.

“I got confidence here. I can speak up now,” Cooper said, explaining that Educare has also helped her feel more comfortable talking to teachers and administrators at her son’s school. Cooper also describes Educare as a safe space that allowed her to open up personally. Educare staff helped Cooper to address her own goals and challenges to build her confidence as a role model for her children.

“When I first signed up for Educare, the form on the back asks you what are your goals and my first goal, and I was kind of embarrassed to put it on there, was that I wanted to take reading classes,” Cooper said. Cooper confided in the Educare staff that she has a learning disability and they worked with her to look through programs and find ways to address it. “Family support helped me to completely accept that I have this learning disability,” Cooper said. “I can relate to them. If I’m going through something, they will ask, Kavon are you OK? Do you need something? You can talk to somebody if you need help.”

A hair stylist, Cooper’s next step is to pursue her manager license, so she can open up her own shop, and show her children that with perseverance and determination she was able to achieve her goals. Though she has been one all along, Cooper now sees herself as a role model for her children.

“At first, with my learning disability, I kind of didn’t. I was thinking, how can I teach them if I’m not at that level? Now, I can say when I need help,” Cooper said. “That’s why my manager license is not just for me, it’s to show my kids that that you aren’t supposed to stop at one level. It’s going to take time, but you can fight for whatever you want. You fight and you get it and you don’t stop. So do I think I’m a role model? Now I do.”