La Quinta, CA
Adams Early Childhood Leaning Center in La Quinta was once a shuttered elementary school. Now it’s filled with experts who focus on helping children with special needs thrive. For the average person, this would be considered a challenge, but for this staff it’s simply their passion.
"They are naturals who just bring out the best gifts and talents of these students," says Principal Bill Himelright.
"Being able to share the progress with the family and seeing them light up and be thankful for just a little extra help and support that we provide them, really just makes it my passion fulfilled," says Marisa Gonzales, a special education teacher at the school.
"We’re here for the children and that’s what makes it worthwhile," says Jody Laguna Reyes, a paraeducator.
We pretended to conduct a typical news interview about the extraordinary work they do everyday. The children didn’t know what to make of it, but they liked the microphone. Then we told them the real reason we were there, to recognize them for KMIR’s "Doing Good" segment. KMIR bought almost everything on their classroom’s wish list. The children loved the toys and dove right in.
The staff was grateful. They often pay for most of this supplies from their own pocket and it’s not cheap.
"It helps tremendously so thank you," says Gonzales.