The bond between a parent educator and a caregiver is special. Ethel Gallaher first met Porter-Leath Parent Educator, Angela Lee, when she visited the house to meet with Mrs. Gallaher’s daughter, Sharonda Carruthers and two grandsons, D’Kylynn and DeLynn.
Sharonda enrolled her family into Porter-Leath Cornerstone in 2019 to help her two little boys prepare for Kindergarten. Cornerstone pairs caregivers with parent educators who use an evidence-based curriculum called Parents as Teachers to offer support in building positive parent-child interaction and to ensure children meet developmental milestones. When Sharonda’s work schedule prevented her from attending the bimonthly home visits with Angela, Mrs. Gallaher stepped in as their caregiver, so that the boys could continue to benefit from the program’s services.
As a former educator, Mrs. Gallaher knew that her grandsons would benefit from practicing foundational learning skills and loved that Porter-Leath was willing to come to her home. She explained, “Growing up, I wish I had this kind of program for myself with my mom, so doing it for the kids, it has been really helpful to me to keep them motivated.” The youngest brother, D’Kylynn, is also on the autism spectrum, so Angela brought Mrs. Gallaher tools and resources that could help him develop positive social skills.
Sadly, in May 2021, the boys mother, Sharonda, passed away from COVID-19 at age 42, and Mrs. Gallaher and her husband become the primary caregivers for the two boys. Angela partnered with the family to survive a very difficult time. She helped Mrs. Gallaher navigate new technology when the boys had online learning and ensured the boys had access to age-appropriate toys, school supplies, books, and even grief counseling.
D’Kylynn and DeLynn - now ages 4 and 6 years old - continue to live with their grandparents and look forward to seeing what new activity or lesson ‘Ms. Lee’ might bring on her next visit. Beautifully, Mrs. Gallaher and Angela have developed a tight bond, communicating regularly to talk about the boys, life, and how Porter-Leath can offer continued support. As the boys age out of the program, she intends on staying in touch with Angela to report on the the boys’ progress. Mrs. Gallaher counts Angela among her family members, which is high praise coming from a woman who feircely loves her family!
If you or someone you know might benefit from home visitation serices, visit Porter-Leath Cornerstone at porterleath.org/cornerstone to learn more and reach out!