Kathy’s Family Story: The Gondola family has been an integral part of the Novato Youth Center family since 1985 when Kathy Gondola joined the center. Throughout her dedicated 31 years of employment, Kathy was promoted many times. She is departing as our Administrative Manager for a well-deserved retirement on October 28, 2016. As long-time Novato residents, the Gondola’s chose the Novato Youth Center as a safe and enriching center for their children and grandchildren: son Trevor was one of the original School Age afterschool participants, daughter Erin followed soon after, and 22 years later Kathy’s grandsons—Nico, Luca, and Quinn—participated in the Early Childhood Education Program. There’s even another grandson on the way. Kathy expressed that she is “grateful to the NYC for providing an enriching place for kids, while reassuring working parents with peace of mind knowing that that their kids are safe at the Center. Working at a nonprofit was rewarding, and an added bonus was that my children and grandchildren benefitted, too.”
In honor of Kathy’s dedication to the NYC, we are raising funds to build the Gondola PreToddler playground.
Need for a PreToddler Playground: Since the closure of the Infant care Room two years ago, the NYC has not had a playground for the PreToddlers ages 12 months up to 2 years old. Research shows that outdoor play and the use of play structures provide infant/toddlers the opportunity to acquire basic motor skills that help foster brain development. During the first three years of life, brain synapses are formed based on a child’s experiences and exposure to outdoor experiential learning. Providing this exposure supports the connections between the right and left hemispheres in the brain. Allowing children to crawl and climb onto structures teaches children about depth perception and encourages problem solving strategies. Play structures also foster language development by using prepositions such as over, under, inside, outside, behind, in front, etc. The richness of providing a play structure in a child’s outdoor environment supports a holistic approach to developing their skills in each developmental domain.
Your Support is Appreciated and will be Matched: We are joining hands with our donors to ask for your support in raising $60,153 to build the new Gondola PreToddler playground. A generous $10,000 match was provided by Pete and Ginnie Haas. To-date $58,031 has been raised. Donate today to make a contribution to help build this play structure that will benefit Kathy’s grandchildren and the future generations of children to come. For more information call (415) 892-1643, ext 0 or email firstname.lastname@example.org