Champions Quality Achievement Award Winner Kia Yamamoto builds great relationships

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 Kia Yamamoto, who leads the Champions program at Irene West Elementary School in Elk Grove, Calif., stays true to her passion for teaching children by focusing on the impact her relationships can have. Learn more about Kia below.

What do you love most about your job?

I love my champs [children] and my families. They are the absolute best. It brings me great joy to come to work everyday and see their smiling faces.

What Service Value resonates most with you and why?

I build great relationships with families. I find that the most important thing between families and caregivers is the level of trust that is developed, and the genuine understanding that this person will love and care for your child in your absence. I love my families, and I do anything and everything I can to help support them. It’s tough knowing that you have to leave your child all day, but knowing that they will be with someone they trust helps ease their worries.

What advice would you give to your colleagues?

Make sure to make time to spend with the champs! It’s so easy to get caught up in the business aspect of things, but ultimately we’re here to support our children and families. Taking five minutes out of your day to play a game with them will not only help you build a stronger relationship with them, but will also give you a little (well-deserved) mental break!

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