Willow Bend, Elementary Teacher, The Parenting Cottage receives $500

Willow Bend, Elementary Teacher, The Parenting Cottage receives $500

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Willow Bend Elementary School Teacher Mariah Caskey is the latest 2021-2022 recipient of KCBD’s One Class At A Time donation and recognition sponsored by border dodge and Chrysler spirit.

“It’s pretty special,” Caskey said. “It shows me that what I do matters. It matters. It means a lot.”

Caskey is in her second year of teaching kindergarten at the Frenship ISD school.

“I grew up in a family of teachers,” Caskey said. “My mother is a teacher. My sister is a teacher. Really, I think it’s just the impact, being able to impact so many lives. I always tell my kids every day when they come in, this is your safe place, I’m always there for you. It doesn’t matter what class you are in, where you are. My goal is to create that safe space for them because a lot of them don’t have that and it’s everywhere you go. For me, I want to be their voice and I want them to know they have that voice. I feel like it’s the best job to do that.

Caskey was also at Willow Bend Elementary for two more years, first as a paraprofessional and then as a third-grade teacher. She told KCBD that having the chance to teach young people is something special.

“They’re very genuine kids and they’ll tell you what it’s like,” Caskey said. “They have so much creativity and they are such great thinkers. We don’t usually think about it for the younger ones. For me to be able to be around that every day and then see that every day is right is amazing.

The program gives the teacher the option of choosing a charity or nonprofit to receive $500. Caskey chose The parents’ cottage.

“They’re counseling young parents, they’re giving diapers, they’re giving car seats, they’re doing so much work for young families and that’s what we’re in,” Caskey said. “The parent is the first teacher, so if we can start early, it works wonders for these kids.”

The Parenting Cottage also ensures that literacy is part of the lives of young families.

“Everything we do is free, so we can really use that money for our prenatal program,” said program manager Sherry McDuff. “In addition, we provide books to our families and the community where we hold community story hours. Our goal is to buy a book for each family and fill their libraries with these books.

McDuff said they appreciated Ms Caskey’s selection and were reassured to know that The Parenting Cottage name was spreading in the community.

“We are a non-profit organization and we live and die on the help of the community,” McDuff said. “We have lots of people and community resources available to our families because we are also part of the United Way. We just need that community input to help us help others.

The One Classroom at a Time program aims to ensure that these charities and teachers have the resources they need to continue to improve our community and young minds.

“It’s exciting to go to the different schools and see the differences between the schools, the activities they have to offer,” said Rick Harrison, General Manager of Frontier Dodge. “We are learning more about all these nonprofits. There is so much more here in Lubbock than I thought many years ago when we started this and it’s just exciting to see the local impact it has and how it affects our children and surrounding communities.

To learn more about One Class at a Time, click here.

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