Each year, Champions honors site directors who go above and beyond in creating a high quality before-and-after school environment. Quality Achievement Award Winner Robin DeCicco, who leads the Champions program at Hiteon Elementary School in Beaverton, Ore., stays true to her passion for teaching children by taking time to learn and play with them and encourages her staff to do the same.
ONE: What do you love most about your job?
Robin DeCicco: The reason I love this job so much and am so passionate about what I do is the children. This job is incredibly fulfilling and meaningful because of the children I get to work with. I love the fact that my job is doing fun and, often times, messy activities with my students. I also love that I am able to give them that extra support that is so often needed with school work.
ONE: What Service Value resonates most with you and why?
RD: The Service Value that resonates with me is responding to the unique needs and interests of every child. It’s really important to differentiate our programming for the different learning styles and interests found in our programs. I’ve found that my students engage more when the activities and programming meet their needs. I do this by making sure my activities rotate around a theme that my students find engaging and interesting.
ONE: What advice would you give to your colleagues?
RD: I always tell my colleagues and the staff I train to have fun with the kids. Sometimes I get so caught up in managing my site and staff that I forget that I am at this job because of my love for working with children. We do so much to make sure that they are enjoying themselves and learning that sometimes I have to remind myself to take a break and go and play and learn with them. The children enjoy it so much when we join in and I enjoy it when I get to engage with them!