An inner city-Hartford father of six-year-old twin girls first heard about the Riverside Magnet School at Goodwin College (formerly the Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School) through word of mouth at the Salvation Army.
When he walked into the magnet school for the first time, he was at a loss for words, noticing the positive, community-driven atmosphere right away.
“I didn’t like the curriculum at the school my daughters were attending at the time,” he noted. “When I came to Riverside, I loved it immediately. The school was not something I was used to growing up in Hartford.”
He wanted more for his daughters. “I wanted to challenge them and give them a shot at something I didn’t have.”
At Riverside, children are encouraged to be curious and ask questions. “The children are given a choice in learning,” he commented. “It makes them more independent.”
He recalled a time when his daughters were having trouble reading. “The teachers took the time to help them and I wanted to cry,” he said. “Now they read everything they see and all I can do is smile.”
The energetic, safe atmosphere provides him comfort every day. “The teachers are not only teachers, they’re parents as well. I don’t feel like it’s just a job for them.”
He believes that attending Riverside will give his daughters an opportunity to learn about diversity and gain fundamental life skills. “In Hartford, there isn’t much diversity, and I want them to be able to interact well with others,” he said.
In order to get to school, his twins take a bus from Hartford to East Hartford. “This is the best school I’ve come across for them,” he stated. “It could be easier for them to go to a neighborhood school, but it’s worth it because I want to give them hope and an opportunity.”
Reflecting on his own childhood, he wants his daughters to have a different upbringing. “I had to grow up quickly as a child, but I want them to have a childhood with no worries,” he noted. “Seeing them play is what I cherish the most.”