Seven-year-old Callie sits with her friends around a table eating a snack. She and the
other children have just arrived from a day at school.
“It’s pretty cool,” Callie says. “If I had to be at home by myself, it would be lonely. I’m an only
child and my parents work.”
Callie is the third generation of her family who have been served at Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) 5-star rated Child Development Center located at Mills Home in Thomasville. The After School Program is part of BCH’s model Weekday Education Program.
“My dad told me that he came here when he was a little boy,” Callie says. “He said that Pop
came here, too.”
Callie’s family has a unique place in the history of Weekday Education. Callie, her dad Mike, and her grandfather Joe have all been served.
“We have other children whose moms or dads may have attended the program, but Callie’s family is the only third generation family,” Weekday Education director Linda Russo says.
Weekday Education marks a milestone this year. The program celebrates its 50th anniversary on May 16.
“When we began in 1965,” Russo says, “the intention was to be a leader providing exemplary
daycare services to the Davidson County community. The success we have had over the years is amplified when an individual returns and chooses to allow us to care for his child, too.”
Callie says that her dad and mom value that “it’s a Christian place.” Callie confides that she
learns a lot and feels safe here. She asserts that one day, she may want her child to attend the program, too.
“If you need to have a place to go after school, it’s the right place to come,” she says. “My
teacher feels like family and the other children are like sisters and brothers.”
Callie’s dad Mike has similar feelings about his time in care. “I remember that it was fun.
I had friends and we played on the playground. I would look forward every day to coming.”
Mike affirms that like Callie’s teachers, he remembers his teachers being caring. “I thought
then how nice they were. I learned social skills like how to get along with others. We had daily devotions. I’m confident that they are helping instill in Callie the same morals and beliefs.”
Mike remembers when he and Callie’s mom began the search to find a daycare program for
their daughter. At the top of the list was Baptist Children’s Home’s Weekday Education program.
“My dad had gone here when he was a boy,” Mike says. “My parents felt that my sister Alyssa
and I had benefitted from this program and they encouraged us to give Callie the same opportunity. We all wanted Callie to experience the things we had known.”
Mike says it can be a hard decision for parents when choosing a place for their child. “Who can you trust?” he says. “It’s a big deal. Choosing Baptist Children’s Homes made it easier. It was the right choice for my dad, for me and my sister, and now for Callie.”