Love Letter to Haverhill Residents: Neighbors, Parents, Grandparents, and Friends of Families with Young Children

By Graciela Trilla, Ed.D.

In my 23 year experience with the City of Haverhill as a resident, and having served here as a public school teacher, school building administrator, and district wide supervisor of curriculum and instruction, I have observed Haverhill grow, reinvent, and reinforce itself through homegrown revitalization projects. Organizations such as Brightside, the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Team Haverhill, the Greater Haverhill Arts Association, the Haverhill Education Coalition, Emmaus House, WHAV, Northern Essex Community College, the YMCA, the YWCA, the Boys and Girls Club, and Girls Inc., state funded projects, and generous private donors have all provided Haverhill is also home to many family and children service agencies, medical facilities, senior housing and care facilities, businesses, and industry making it ideal for families and entrepreneurs.

There have been steady urban renewal projects in the areas of housing; beautification of the downtown; a UML Campus; The Zion Bible College where Bradford College used to be; restoration of mill buildings; repairs and improvements to our four trans-Merrimack River bridges; sidewalks; street lighting, the Bradford Rail Trail, and a parking garage for greater access to the commuter train line.

Our beautiful farm lands, working farms, parks, neighborhoods of historic homes, proximity to the Merrimack River and five exits along Route 495 make Haverhill a city that has it all.

I have nothing but faith in Haverhill… the city where I raised my two children… where old world and new world immigrants have chosen to make their home. Yet, with all its virtues and promise, I still see a need for deep healing and reconciliation with our diverse and marginalized communities.

Imagine a place for your young child where you can walk to the school because it is in your neighborhood, where your child is one of 25 children across 3 grade levels, with two Montessori Early Childhood Education certified teachers in a beautiful sunny, accessible environment that is prepared to meet your child on their developmental level, encourage self-directed inquiry, exploration, sharing, and learning within a community of caring, loving, classmates and neighbors.

Imagine a place for your child to begin learning multiple languages and literacy-rich concepts of mathematics, environmental stewardship, scientific observation, and research based activities that propel individual ways of learning.

Imagine a place where interpersonal interactions with peers and adults are purposeful and affirming; where manipulatives and materials for learning are freely accessible; child-sized, and made of natural wood, natural fibers, and environmentally renewable materials.

Imagine a place where children master his or her own care of self, and care of the communal space using chemical free cleaning and washing materials as a matter of routine and consideration for the environment and for classmates; where orderliness and beauty enhance the logic and progression of the sequences of learning.

Imagine a place where your child is safe among the neighborhood storefronts, small business owners and clientele; where neighbors are a valued and integral part of the shared learning environment for the children.

Imagine a place for children and all of us:
• Where the neighborhood park is cared for and shared by the community;
• Where the shared cultivation of, and care of a community garden is the pride of the neighborhood;
• Where common principles of kindness, collaboration, and shared community among every faction of the neighborhood is fostered;
• Where your child becomes a valuable entity among the ambassadors for a collective peace and for justice for all.

The Wildflower Foundation provides this innovative philosophy of learning for pre-kindergarten to Kindergarten youngsters in Haverhill. There are two Wildflower Schools already in Haverhill. Come find out what an authentic Montessori, child-directed, teacher-led environment nestled in the community can do for you, for your young child and for the promise of our diverse communities.

Choose to become informed about the possibilities for your child. Come to information sessions January 25, 2018 6:30-7:30 pm, or February 12, 2018 6:00 -7:00 pm at the Trinity Church Library, 26 White Street, entrance on Williams St.