Jesusa Valdez is a junior at Northern Arizona
University. She has been working with children for twenty-one
years. Her first experiences with children were in Burley,
Idaho as a teacher's aide in the migrant program with Cassia
County School District. For the last fifteen years, she has
worked with preschool children-twelve of which have been in
the implementation of the Head Start program through Child
Parent Centers, Inc. in Tucson, Arizona. Jesusa has been married
to Norberto for 19 years. They have two wonderful daughters,
Daniella, 17, and Brianna, 13.
Jesusa believes that parents are their child's
first, and most important, teacher. She never allows an opportunity
to escape where she can encourage parents to talk and read
with their child. Jesusa views parents as partners in the
endeavor to inspire a love of reading and learning in their
children. It is because she is a fervent believer of this,
that she loves the following passage from Judi Moreillon's
book, Read to Me:
For in this life,
I'll need a map.
Let it begin
upon your lap.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Kathy. Kathy
loved make-believe, and she loved to read. She read and she
read and she read. She read to her mommy. She read to her
daddy. She read to her dolls. She read to her brother. She
really liked to read books about families.
Kathy grew up and when she was sixteen, she met her prince.
When she was eighteen, her prince, Wayne, married her. Kathy
became Kathy Steele. After many years, Wayne and Kathy had
two sons, Ryan and Derek. They lived in a vast land called
Texas, and, in 1986, moved to a different land called Tucson,
Arizona. Kathy still loved make-believe and so she worked
in a magical place called preschool. She worked there for
a very long time - over 24 years! She loved to read to the
children. She read and they read. They read and she read.
One day in 1992, Kathy opened a school called Faith Community
Academy and worked there for twelve years. She was able to
help other preschool teachers by presenting seminars at teacher
conventions and early childhood conferences.
Kathy loved the magical land called preschool, and she loved
working with the children. She wanted to learn more about
teaching them, so after earning her associate's degree at
Pima Community College, Kathy enrolled in classes at a distant
castle called Northern Arizona University (NAU). Kathy has
learned many things, and she will complete her bachelor's
degree in early childhood education in December 2005. Since
being in this land of learning, Kathy has discovered there
is still much more to learn. She has decided to take more
classes at NAU to get a special thing called a master's degree
in early childhood education. So once again, Kathy reads and
she reads and she reads. She reads things called textbooks.