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UIC Black Alumni Spotlight

"It Takes A Village Daycare"
4000 West Division St. PH: 773-772-9940 Email: gwen@thevillage.com

From piano instruction to dance classes, "It Takes A Village" Daycare has gone beyond the call of duty to bring quality education to low-income families. Most importantly, a family of UIC graduates has come together to create a unique daycare that encompasses a strong academic approach in child care services. Gwendolyn Harris, who received her Master's degree in in Early Child Education from UIC, was a teacher at Nash Elementary for over 10 years, she states: "While in the classroom, I started to develop my own unique theories about quality education because I believe every child is destined for success."

Gwen felt that the CPS curriculum did not meet all the needs of this population. As a result, she started her own daycare center with her three daughters, who are also alumni of UIC, and uses these strategies as a foundation for child development. When asked what makes this daycare different, Nakisha Harris-Hobbs explained that children at their daycare excel on to magnet and private schools. Impressively, these same students also test in the 85 percentile. All daughters boasted about how their experience at UIC, and most importantly, how AAAN has prepared them to be skillful young professionals within the daycare industry. Anita Andrews-Hutchinson stated, "AAAN was the first place where I gained personal development and I was able to fine tune many of my professional skills". Lameeka Harris also expressed that using AAAN services, "prepared me in a array of areas because I learned how to interact with diverse groups and I now feel I can adapt my skills in any situation." "It Takes A Village" Daycare is an excellent example of UIC educated alumni who are committed to academic excellence. AAAN congratulates them on all of their accomplishments!

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