Sixpence is an initiative that’s unique to Nebraska.
We’re delighted to share the latest success story, as our program supports families and children from prenatal-3 to thrive developmentally.
We want to set children up for success early on for many reasons. During a child’s early years, they develop neural architecture at a fast rate. Therefore, the relationships infants and toddlers create and the engagement they receive from their caregivers lays the foundation for lifelong success.
As a participant in Sixpence home visits, Gabby and her son Kaden had fun and learned from an early childhood expert. An integral part of Sixpence, home visits provide parents with the opportunity to work with highly skilled professionals. The home visitors support the families to assess and work through children’s developmental milestones and teach parents to become their child’s best champions and, most important, teachers.
This story comes to you from Gabriella “Gabby” Marco, as told by Noemi Lopez, Gabby’s Family Support, and Patty Tello, Family Engagement Manager of Educare Omaha at Indian Hill.
A single parent, Gabby, applied for her son, Kaden, to go to Educare Omaha at Indian Hill as soon as he was born. Educare is one of Sixpence’s collaborators, made possible through a partnership between them and Omaha Public Schools.
When Gabby started the Sixpence program, she was only 21. At the time, college and part-time work overwhelmed her.
“She’s since grown so much,” said Noemi. “Since Gabby began to engage with the Sixpence program, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Medical Imaging and Therapeutic Sciences!”
Ever the determined mother, Gabby has always sought out the best for her son.
Noemi said Gabby’s since become an advocate for her family and takes Kaden’s education as seriously as her own! Currently, Gabby is pursuing a master’s degree in Counseling.
Sixpence and Educare Omaha played a tremendous role as she and Kaden continued to thrive.
“Knowing Kaden is safe with us and loved by his teachers has given her the confidence to pursue her career goals [and] provide more stability for her child, in all areas, physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially,” said Noemi.
Noemi said, “I can only say that I’m so proud of Gabby. She’s encountered many roadblocks along the way, but she’s resilient and has the drive to continue with her dreams.”
Patty added that Sixpence offered Gabby essential and positive support.
“She’d stop and share with [Educare] staff how classes were going, and staff would celebrate her accomplishments all the way through!” said Patty.
“Gabby was reassured her child was safe and well-cared for; we sent daily reports home during her child’s days in [Educare and Sixpence programming], and then went weekly, which allowed her to be attentive [in college] and complete her schoolwork.”
Patty said the program’s structure offered by the school supports all children through parent goal-setting meetings. She added that the program also helps the parents meet goals and gives them confidence for new and higher aspirations!
Patty said Sixpence continues to work alongside this remarkable young woman.
“Gabby receives a monthly book from Reading and Play activities; she also participated in parenting classes and had good communication with teachers and [program staff],” said Patty.
Luckily, Gabby will continue to enjoy Sixpence perks!
“Gabby’s still with us one more year, as her son is now four,” said Noemi.
The proximity to Kaden’s new classroom has continued interactions and care from his [program] teachers.
As Kaden will start his kindergarten transition year this year, Gabby will be supported in looking at kindergarten programs. Sixpence will help prepare for Kaden’s entry.
“Gabby is a single parent, and it’s been great to see her grow into a co-parent with the father,” said Noemi. “The team supported Gabby while she worked in the courts and accepted the biological dad to be a part of Kaden’s life.”
In addition, Noemi, Sixpence, and Educare staff were there to listen to Gabby and provide emotional support.
Best of all, the program offers parents like Gabby quality care at a minimal cost, which helps them pursue goals, including education.
“The free hours offered to parents are huge for Gabby. She’s expressed that if we didn’t have the wrap-around care at minimal cost, she would’ve stopped studying and working or have relied heavily on extended family members only available in emergencies,” said Patty.
Patty said, “Gabby shared that she’s grateful for the well-rounded child she enjoys due to the curriculum and dedicated teachers. She’s verbalized [my] family support is a huge [help], as we follo[w] her and Kaden’s progress which has allowed her to stay grounded.”
As an organization that helps children and families thrive, thanks to our community partners, we couldn’t be more delighted to share this fantastic news. As we move into the fall, we can’t wait to deliver more Sixpence success stories, all thanks to supporters like you!