The Pathways Experience
By: Jamie and Wendy Jones
I have known and worked with Peter Garlock, Pathways Immediate Past Board Chair, for over 35 years.
We have heard so much about Pathways, but it wasn’t until we had the opportunity to visit in January that we truly understood the compassion and commitment that Pete and Theresa Garlock have to the school, the people of Pathways and the community.
From the outside it looks small. Weaving through the streets of Immokalee the minute you pull into the parking area, you can feel it is a special and colorful place that is making a difference in the community.
We accompanied Pete and Theresa on a tour with the Executive director Brandon Dowdy, the Center Director Michele Blackmon and Cynthia Rodriguez Operations Manager, and met and waved to many of the teachers, but the most important and memorable people were the children.
We were there at lunchtime and watched the family-style values of respect and manners being taught around the lunch table. The spirit, smiles and happy faces were joyous and abundant as we toured the colorful classrooms and play areas and listened to the stories of Pathways. I realized the building is so much bigger than it appears in so many ways and the experience of visiting far exceeded our expectations.
Pathways is making a difference for 125 fortunate children and families, and it is astounding to hear the wait list is 500 children. Pete and Theresa’s dream is to help in some way to make it possible for the
125 to continue and those other 500 children to have the Pathways experience.
The building might appear small, but the need is big.
We learned so much from our visit to experience firsthand the importance and need for Early Education today and the difference Pathways is making for the children in the Immokalee community.
Pathways is about the children, and I hope more people will visit like we did and have the Pathways experience.
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