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Putting Kids First is a wonderful theme to celebrate. It’s what Martha & Mary KIDS has done for more than three decades. During the week of September 16, 2013, its learning centers and health and rehab campus came alive with celebrations engaging all the many generations it serves, with a special focus on the importance of early learning in the West Sound region. Research demonstrates that quality early childhood education is essential to children,” said Martha & Mary KIDS administrator Tammi Palodichuk. “I think I speak for all our staff – more than 80 strong – when I say we are honored that Martha & Mary, both past and present, has stood tall in its commitment to excellence.

Our goal is to provide the best in early learning education and child care for children, families, and our community. We have left thousands of heart prints on children, and they, on us.” Helping kids get off to a healthy start is good for everyone, even the regional economy. Martha & Mary’s quality child care and before and after school programs in North and Central Kitsap are vital resources for employers and working parents. And as the Washington State Department of Early Learning attests, many people and partners in our communities – not just parents and educators – have a role in ensuring that children are prepared for success in kindergarten, and beyond.

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Martha & Mary • 30 Years - Putting Kids First

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A Legacy of Meeting Community Need Through Leadership, Innovation and Commitment The vision for today’s Martha & Mary KIDS programs began in the early 1980’s. Marsha Weedman, director of nursing services for Martha & Mary’s nursing home in Poulsbo, wanted to create an on-site quality child care program for employees. With approval of the governing board and collaboration with early learning consultant Joanna Carlson, they made this dream a reality. On June 13, 1983, the ‘little red school house’ in Poulsbo opened its doors with five employee children. In 1988, five years later, the community called with the need for a high quality child care program for preschoolers. The Child Care Center in Poulsbo was born, and soon had over 100 children enrolled. Intergenerational programming began, as children walked over to Martha & Mary’s nearby nursing center to engage in learning and sharing projects with “the grandmas and grandpas” in residence. It wasn’t long before a needed kindergarten program was added for the community, and the Children’s Learning Center on Front Street in Poulsbo opened its doors. Then in 2000, Martha & Mary was asked to assume management of the before and after school programs in North and Central Kitsap elementary schools at nine sites, plus a summer program, today known respectively as M & M KIDS Club, and M & M KIDS Camp. The growth didn’t stop there. In 2003, the Joanna Carlson Early Learning Center campus in Silverdale was constructed, meeting a community need in Central Kitsap for care of children ages one month through 12 years. The building is shared with Kitsap Community Resources, a vital partner, since 27 percent of regional M & M KIDS families require some financial assistance. Intergenerational activities are

coordinated with the seniors at Crista Shores, bringing special enrichment to even more lives, young and old. Never did founders Marsha Weedman and Joanna Carlson imagine that 30 years later the Martha & Mary KIDS programs would be serving over 350 community children a day, and over 1,400 children a year – ages four weeks to age 12 – in 11 locations across the region. Today, Martha & Mary has over 80 dedicated children’s educators and staff, and twothirds of them have Early Learning certificates or degrees. Martha & Mary KIDS is an active participant in the state’s Early Achievers program, which provides access to continued education and training for child care staff.

Martha & Mary is one of the region’s most long-standing non-profits, with a history of caring for children, families, and seniors since its beginning in 1891. Today, Martha & Mary’s health and rehab center, assisted living, in-home care, and early learning centers continue to meet the needs of thousands of West Sound families.

The original commitment to provide quality child care and education for employees’ children continues today, and it’s one of the benefits for the 650 staff working at Martha & Mary. Hundreds of families also appreciate the trust and confidence they place in M & M KIDS programs, every day. Martha & Mary’s passion for serving the community began in 1891, 122 years ago. The wood frame house that was the original children’s home stood along Front Street in Poulsbo, where the Martha & Mary Health & Rehab Center is today. As time dictated, seniors needed housing and health assistance, too. Martha & Mary’s nursing center was established in 1961. It continues to be a vital community resource and a “social safety net”, welcoming residents and patients with a variety of needs, and collaborating with regional health care providers. Martha & Mary provides over $2.5 million annually in care for those who might otherwise go without. Visit www.marthaandmary.org for more information.

The Joanna Carlson Campus & Early Learning Center in Silverdale opened its doors in 2003 with support from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and a Community Development Block Grant.

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Martha & Mary KIDS Directory

Martha & Mary • 30 Years - Putting Kids First

It Takes a Community – Partnerships That Put Kids First

Infants through Preschool Serving age 4 weeks to 5 years 250 NE Sunset Street Poulsbo, WA 98370 Tel: 360-394-4093 Email: Eanderson@mmhc.org

Whether it’s working with local libraries, parks, and businesses to create engaging community experiences for kids, or partnering with public schools, employers and regional community leaders for stronger education and family resources, Martha & Mary gets involved. At the Martha & Mary KIDS 30th birthday celebration, Poulsbo city council member Connie Lord presented a special proclamation from Mayor Becky Erickson. “For thirty years Martha & Mary KIDS has embraced best practices in early learning education, establishing itself as a leader in our community to meet the modern day needs and challenges that children and families face,” shared Connie. “Local schools and hundreds of families have benefited from Martha & Mary KIDS’ commitment to putting thousands of kids first by way of the nurturing, care, and the resources they have invested.” Partnerships with regional schools are essential, because Martha & Mary KIDS students move into them. Martha & Mary KIDS Club before and after school are a vital resource, too. Patty Page is Superintendent of North Kitsap School District, where Martha & Mary’s KIDS Club programs serve over 160 children ages 5 to 12 at district elementary schools, including Pearson and Vinland in Poulsbo, Suquamish Elementary, and Gordon and Wolfle in Kingston. “We have so many busy families with parents working or engaged in other life responsibilities. Having a viable before and after school program that’s more than just day care is essential,” says Superintendent Page. “M & M KIDS Clubs engage students in fun and in learning activities, which promote their cognitive and emotional growth. Parents have confidence that we

Children’s Learning Center

Why Putting Kids First is Everyone’s Business

www.marthaandmary.org/KIDS Martha & Mary KIDS cares for over 350 children a day, and more than 1,400 a year in its child care, early learning, before & after school, and summer camp programs - at 11 locations in North and Central Kitsap County. Please contact us for the program that’s right for you!

Early Learning Center Infants through Preschool, Junior Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Before & After School Care for Silverdale Elementary Serving ages 4 weeks to 12 years 3513 Anderson Hill Road Silverdale, WA 98383 Tel: 360-626-2131 Email: Reicher@mmhc.org

Child Care Center

Preschool & Kindergarten Serving ages 3 to 8 years 19282 Front Street Poulsbo, WA 98370 Tel: 360-394-4085 Email: Akirk@mmhc.org

M & M KIDS Club Before & After School Program Elementary schools in North Kitsap & Central Kitsap, including: Clear Creek Elementary & Cougar Valley Elementary in Silverdale; Pearson Elementary, Poulsbo Elementary, & Vinland Elementary in Poulsbo; Suquamish Elementary; Gordon Elementary & Wolfle Elementary in Kingston. Full Day Kindergarten to 6th Grade Serving ages 5 to 12 Tel: 360-394-4089 Email: TMcCutcheon@mmhc.org

M & M KIDS Camp Summer Program Poulsbo & Silverdale Elementary Schools Kindergarten to 6th Grade Serving ages 5 to 12 Tel: 360-394-4089 Email: TMcCutcheon@mmhc.org

Poulsbo City Council member Connie Lord presented a Mayor’s Proclamation to M&M KIDS Tammi Palodichuck and Martha & Mary CEO Chad Solvie.

have a safe, nurturing environment, and our educators trust Martha & Mary’s staff as true collaborators in a shared mission to nurture happy, healthy, vibrant kids.” “Martha & Mary is a valued partner in our high schools, too,” notes Page. “We have dozens of teens who volunteer in their senior living, health care and children’s programs. The intergenerational connection and the mentoring these youth gain by volunteering really enhances their life and work experience, and promotes their development into caring, compassionate adults.” The Economic Impact of Quality Child Care John Powers is the Executive Director of the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA), a non-profit consortium whose mission is to promote economic vitality in the region. “I view Martha & Mary as a vital contributor in the fabric of our economy, as well to the health and well-being of our families and our communities,” says Powers. “Martha & Mary is not only a very

Bette Hyde is Director of Department of Early Learning (DEL) for the State of Washington, and she currently serves on the state Quality Education Council and the Higher Education Steering Committee. Her focus is on creating one statewide early learning system that prepares all Washington children for school and life.

Q: With your many years in education, what have you learned about the essentials of successful early learning for children? A: Virtually every skill set begins developing in the first year of life, so parents need to interact with their infant from the very beginning, not waiting until age three or five to begin their child’s education. Every interaction is a teaching moment that nurtures or detracts. Look at the child, pay attention them, and have fun interacting! They will respond. Q: How can parents trust that caregivers in a child care center are going to provide the interaction and care that their child needs? A: It is a very important decision. Don’t simply choose the program or center that’s least expensive or closest. A center should be licensed and in good standing, and parents can visit www.childcareaware.org for this data. And a center’s positive reputation should precede your visit, so ask other parents, neighbors, or employers. Choosing a center like Martha & Mary that is participating in a state-wide quality program like Early Achievers is an excellent idea, as it demonstrates that they are striving to be the best that they can be. Finally, spend time there. Talk to the director, observe the warmth of the staff and the surroundings. And check in with your child. After a brief period of adjustment, they will tell or show you that they are happy there. Q. What is Early Achievers all about? A: Early Achievers is about enhancing the quality

large and important employer with over 650 people on staff, their impact is truly region-wide, based on who they serve, whether it’s young, working parents in Port Orchard who need quality child care, or seniors in Kingston seeking health services in a residential setting or at home. Reliable care services for our children and our seniors allow members of the workforce to perform optimally, so our employers and business owners rely on Martha & Mary, too. “While the organization is traditional in their core values and not-for-profit mission,” observes Powers. “I see them as true innovators in the social service model they have developed. It’s one that serves a very large spectrum to meet present needs, and it looks to the future, as they partner on exciting new projects such as progressive models for affordable senior housing and assisted living.”

“For any family who needs it, including our military families, Martha & Mary KIDS Club before and after school programs are invaluable for a number of important reasons. I have observed that the quality of the program is very high: what the kids are engaged in models what they’re learning in school, including good citizenship. The child’s transition from school to child care is seamless. I also really appreciate the leadership of Martha & Mary. They are consistently attentive to parents, children, and fellow educators; highly organized; genuine in their caring; and in following through on details so we can all do our jobs better. It’s a valuable partnership for everyone.” -Chris Visserman, Principal of Cougar Valley Elementary School in Bremerton.

“Martha & Mary provides exactly the kind of learning program our state and families need. It’s committed to serving all children, having them learn in a mixed, engaged community, and with well-trained educators and caregivers. We are all life-long learners, and so are the staff at Martha & Mary.” of programs in child care and preschools in our state. Two years ago, our state was blessed by winning a federal Race the Top Early Learning grant which gives us $60 million to invest in scholarships, coaching and tuition to early learning educators so they can obtain the best possible certifications, training, and learning materials. We want care providers to take advantage of this remarkable program so we can do even better by our kids. Q. Why is teacher training and development so important? A: It’s well documented that the quality of the teacher or caregiver is the single most important determining factor in determining successful kindergarten readiness and life-long learning. And every dollar invested in pre-kindergarten saves taxpayers up to $7 in the reduction of remedial and special education, welfare expense, and criminal justice services. A good beginning for kids has far-reaching impact. Q. What else can we do to “put kids first” in our communities? A: Get engaged! Children need to know that somebody cares about them, whether it’s a neighbor, the bus driver, or a friendly grocery store clerk. A caring community helps kids feel connected, safe, and loved. Martha & Mary’s intergenerational and volunteer programs are a great example. Reach out with a smile, volunteer at a museum, or read to kids at a local library or school. Everyone can do a little bit and it makes a huge difference to all involved, building better relationships and communities, too. For more information, visit www.del.wa.gov It’s there for everyone interested in building brighter futures for kids. Parents who may need funding assistance for child care can go to the Working Connection Child Care resources page. Every child deserves a healthy start!


Martha & Mary • 30 Years - Putting Kids First

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EDUCATING EDUCATORS: Why Teachers are Tops! A commitment to excellence in teaching and staff development is a priority at Martha & Mary. It has been proven that the quality of caregivers and teachers is the leading factor in determining a young child’s future learning success. More than two-thirds of Martha & Mary KIDS’ 80-person staff have earned early learning certificates or degrees, and all strive to continuously improve their skills in working with peers, children, and families. “Working and continuing my education simultaneously pays big dividends. I can apply my knowledge immediately, and use my experience to make a difference in the lives of children right away,” says Era Anderson, director of the Child Care Center in Poulsbo. “It’s also contagious among our staff. We’re excited about what we’re learning and can share it, and this inspires all of our staff to excel.” Era has been participating in early learning curriculum offered by Olympic College, including taking advantage of the state’s Department of Early Learning Early Achievers program. The college offers certificates and degrees that are convenient to care provider’s working lives. The curriculum allows them to move along the Department of Early Learning’s Career Pathway, and in alignment with the state’s common core competencies for early learning providers.

On story book character day, teacher Heather Angelbeck engages Early Kindergarteners in reading.

“We’ve built a relationship with Martha & Mary that extends far beyond the early learning classroom,” says Gayle Dilling, O.C.’s Early Childhood Coordinator. Martha & Mary KIDS administrator Tammi Palodichuk serves on Olympic College’s ECE Advisory Board, which provides guidance and networking for the college, as well as for those that serve on the committee.  The Board shapes curriculum, provides internship experiences, and make decisions that influence instruction at Olympic College. “We’re proud of the closeness and trust with which our regional educators and staff work together,” says Tammi. “We share best practices, special needs, and challenges so we can all contribute to the best possible solutions for child care providers and educators and, ultimately, for the children in our care.”

Martha & Mary staff and children gathered in celebration of Martha & Mary KIDS 30-year anniversary.

Martha & Mary Upcoming Events CEO Breakfast Tuesday, Nov. 5, 7:30 a.m. Martha & Mary Health and Rehab Center, 19160 Front St., Poulsbo An introduction to Martha & Mary and our impact on the lives of children, seniors, and their families, led by CEO Chad Solvie.

Martha & Mary teachers like Priscilla Torres nurture infants as young as four weeks old.

Village Green Senior Apartments Open House Friday, Nov. 8, 1:00—3:00 p.m. 26150 Dulay Road NE, Kingston

Drop by to tour and celebrate Kingston’s new apartment community, affordably priced for active, independent seniors. M&M KIDS Day at Barnes & Noble Saturday, Nov. 9 Kitsap Mall, Silverdale Support M&M KIDS as you shop -- Barnes & Noble donates a portion of your purchases to M&M KIDS.

SAVE THE DATE! Generations Luncheon Sunday, April 27, noon – 3:30 pm Kiana Lodge, 14976 Sandy Hook Road NE, Poulsbo Martha & Mary’s signature fund raising event—silent and live auction, guest speaker, buffet luncheon. Please join us! For more information, or to RSVP,   please contact events@marthaandmaryorg or 360.626.7879

Martha & Mary KIDS Gives Children a Great Start - HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP What are your hopes and dreams for the children you know and love? Like most people, you want them to have the best from the beginning — lovingly nurtured by parents and caregivers while they develop self-confidence and a curiosity for learning and life. Our dreams are your dreams. At Martha and Mary KIDS, we strive for excellence in our teaching and caregiving staff, leadership in our community partnerships, and inclusion in welcoming all children into our programs. 27 percent of our kids are on some level of financial assistance, and as a non-profit, we need lots of community support in so many ways.

Giving kids a great start is what Martha & Mary KIDS does every day. And you can help! To support Martha & Mary KIDS and help Kitsap children get a great start, please contact Kara Russell, 360.394.4004; krussell@mmhc.org. Visit www.marthaandmary.org click the Donate Now button, and select Children’s Programs. THANK YOU!

Your contribution to Martha & Mary KIDS will: • Provide classroom supplies for learning games, story time and reading activities, art-making projects, and intergenerational programs for children and seniors. • Purchase cameras, photo printers, and other teaching aides that enhance learning. • Help children in our Summer Camps prevent summer learning loss through language and phonics games, and training to help staff use these tools effectively. • Enroll staff in Child Development Associate certification classes. This nationally recognized credential builds skills and opens up child care career paths. • Purchase new recreational equipment, such as bikes, tricycles, helmets, and playground games. • Fund field trips (bus rental and fuel, admission fees, lunches, curriculum materials) to museums, farms, environmental projects, state parks, local businesses, and other destinations, which promote hands-on learning in our community and develop literacy and social skills.


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Martha & Mary • 30 Years - Putting Kids First

Parents Tell Their Story: Mastering Work-Life Balance Joyce Rogers and her husband Arthur are busy business owners and the parents of four adopted children, ages three to 18. Over the years their kids have been enrolled in Martha & Mary’s early child education, summer camp, and after school programs. “As far we’re concerned,” says Joyce, “Martha & Mary is an absolute treasure to us and in our community. What each of our children needed was so different, and Martha & Mary met each child where it mattered most, helping them learn and develop socially and academically, suited to their individual abilities. For example, Joaquin was really delayed in speech from his previous home situation, and now he’s a thriving, happy chatterbox. Our children have been

The Stuart family of Kingston joined in Martha & Mary KIDS 30th celebration. “We tried another child care center closer to home, but Martha & Mary is the one we can’t live without,” said Brianna Stuart.

nurtured to their highest potentials, and we’re able to keep our careers moving, too.”

“The flexible hours at Martha & Mary are really important to our challenging work schedule, but even more important is the confidence we have in their care for each individual child,” says Julianne Gordon, who is a physical therapist at the Naval Hospital, with two children, ages 6 and 3, at Martha & Mary in Silverdale. Her husband Randall works demanding hours for the Navy Regional Northwest Fire Department. “The staff are always cheerful and thoughtful, and help us make that transition from Mom to day care really easy, even on some of those difficult mornings,” notes Julianne. “On almost a daily basis, I get a report on something special that my child has done or experienced. The staff really know my children, and care about them, and it shows, every day.” Julianne also volunteers when she can, helping with field trips, story time and special events. Isaac Steele is a busy working father who was a nurse at Martha & Mary’s Health and Rehab Center in Poulsbo, and now has a new job as a staff nurse at Hospice of Kitsap County. His three daughters have all come up through the ranks in the Martha & Mary KIDS programs. Today they go to elementary school where they are in M & M KIDS Club. “In fact, they enjoy it so much,” says Isaac, “sometimes when I go to pick them up, they say ’Wait, Dad! We’re not quite finished!’ M & M KIDS Club is also very convenient with my new work schedule, and it’s nice having a

enjoyed it so much. I think it gave them a special comfort level with older adults, and a wonderful opportunity to think about someone other than themselves.” Isaac’s wife Jennifer works at Martha & Mary in the M & M KIDS program and she also enjoys supporting the teaching staff and the families in our community. Martha & Mary’s KIDS programs began as a means of providing quality day care for Martha & Mary employees. Today, any local family can enroll their child in one of Martha & Mary’s three early learning centers. The same is true for M & M KIDS Clubs before and after school locations and for summer camp programs at North Kitsap and Central Kitsap elementary school sites.

Alena Gimlin works for Martha & Mary as administrator of Bay Vista Commons assisted living in Bremerton. “Employer-sponsored child care that I can trust for my daughter Elle is a huge contribution to our hapiness.”

safe ‘go-to place’ in our own community.” The Steele sisters participated in the intergenerational programs at Martha & Mary’s Health and Rehab Center. Each week, they engaged in planned activities with the seniors and patients. “They used to ask me when they could go and see the grandmas and grandpas, because they

Thank you, Martha & Mary! For nearly three years, my husband and I depended on you to care for and educate our two sons. Thank you for taking your job seriously. Thank you for honoring our family’s values.Thank you for giving our children your best, every day. Every step of our experience with Martha & Mary has been a fun and educational journey. After our relocation to North Kitsap, it took research and time to find what we were looking for: quality education and training for staff, a safe and nurturing environment for children, and celebration of the individuality of every family. You took us by the hand during the first phone call and led us through separation anxiety, art and cooking projects, guidance and discipline strategies, bruises and bloody noses, child development, and my absolute favorite: IGP (intergenerational programs). Thank you. Without your dedication to the job, to the non-profit, and to the children, our community would undoubtedly suffer. You provide excellent early learning opportunities for the children privileged to be in your care. Many paretns who rely on Martha & Mary are grateful for the superior work you do. And I know with certainty that our family is a stronger family because you have been a part of it. Taffy Gallagher & Aaron Zapf

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Martha & Mary • 30 Years - Putting Kids First

Caring for

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Martha & Mary is a trusted community partner serving children, families and seniors across our region. For over 120 years, our commitment to exceptional care has made a lasting difference in thousands of lives.

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Special Sections - Martha and Mary - 30 years of Putting Kids First  

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Special Sections - Martha and Mary - 30 years of Putting Kids First  

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