Ella Loucks remembers attending KidsCare as a child. For Loucks, life has come full circle as she now is the site coordinator at Orchard View Elementary School in Middlebury.
“When I was their age, I wanted to have fun when I was here. I stayed later than a lot of the kids. I’m glad we have a place where kids can have a little extra time with their friends rather than going straight home after school,” she said.
Loucks has been part of the KidsCare team for about a year. She spent last school year at South Side Elementary School in the Concord district before taking over the Middlebury site.
“I love working with the kids. They’re so much fun. They can be a handful at times, but they say and do some funny things. They make me laugh and it’s the highlight of my day,” she said.
Having adults kids can depend on is important for Loucks, who says she loves seeing the kids each day and wants them to have a variety of activities while they’re at KidsCare.
“I want them to feel comfortable talking to me when something is bothering them. I want them to have things to learn while they’re here, but I also hope they have fun,” she said.
She works to make sure they are active as soon as they arrive, since they’ve been working hard in the classroom.
“I try to get them outside to burn off some of that energy they’ve built up sitting in school all day long,” Loucks said.
At the end of the day, she gets joy out of the interaction she has with the kids — and observing how they interact with each other.
“The best part of the job is seeing the kids smile when they walk in, and if they have a frown, being able to turn that around.”