My name is Rita B. I have been at Onward House since August. I teach in the Blue Birds Classroom. Blue Birds 2 to be more specific.This is my second go-around here at Onward House. I also worked at Onward House from 2007 to 2016. I was the School Age group worker from 2007 to 2012, and after I received my BA in Early Childhood Education (ECE), I went to work in the Blue Birds classroom. I left in 2016 to pursue my Masters in ECE and spend some time working with infants. I also worked for two years in Oak Park at a small Christian preschool. It had to close due to Covid-19, which led me back to working in my neighborhood at Onward House. When I am not working at Onward House and hanging out with my awesome kiddos, I volunteer here in the Belmont Cragin community. I am Vice President of the Blackhawk Park Advisory Council, and am now in my second year at this position. I am also on the Board of Directors for Las Damas, which is a group of local moms who are trying to do intentional things to raise the reading level of our youngest residents. I live, work, and thrive in the Belmont Cragin community, where I have been for over 50 years. I enjoy helping kiddos learn a concept and applying what they learn to other things. I enjoy watching them become confident and independent.
My name is Rosita Feliciano. I have been working at Onward House for nine years, and in that time I have been working with 3 to 5 year-olds in the classroom as well as the two-year-old room, and I have helped with School Age. I made the transition to the two-year-old classroom in 2017. I enjoy working with creative curriculum studies because it reminds me of when I was working with the Reggio Amelia approach. I have 20 years in my background using the Reggio Amelia approach.
My experience at Onward House has been interesting. I have learned many things from many different children, coworkers, and families. Onward House is home to many away from home. Thank you!
Hi, my name is Marlene, and I was part of the extended ONH family. I worked at ABC preschool and on my last day there, ONH invited me. I am loving Blue Birds. I have taught for a number of years. I took a break to work in a substance recovery program. My grandkids are under five, I learned so much from them while working on my BA in Early childhood, which I am now applying here and at home. Right when I started here at Onward House my husband had a stroke, and I am grateful for the management at Onward House for giving me time to get him back on his feet, as he has a long road of recovery ahead of him. One great thing about ONH are all the Kendall graduates at ONH!
Working at Onward house has been such an inspiration to me. It has encouraged me to think outside the box and try new ways of teaching to support every child in my care. Through the trainings and support of different coaches, I have grown as a teacher. I have learned to look at children individually, create math activities in the classroom, successfully prepare children for kindergarten, use We Thinkers to support children’s social emotional development, and most importantly I have learned how to get children extra support by creating teacher reports using observations and help from the Head Start Coordinator (Ms. Jenny) to help children receive services through CPS. I have become confident and an advocate for parents and children. I have become a voice for children and parents that are unable to articulate the needs that they experience in their day-to-day lives. In my almost eight years of working at Onward, I have learned how to evaluate, observe, and teach children using strategies that I had never thought of before my decision to come to Onward. I have grown as a teacher, parent, and friend within my years here. Being a team member and problem solving for our day-to-day operation seems like second nature, as I always have my colleagues on my mind. Although there have been struggles, the pandemic, and challenges, the policies in place and the people inside these walls bring me back every day. I am proud and honored to be a part of such a wonderful and inviting organization that serves the community, parents, and the whole child.
Thank you for this opportunity!