People who work at Bloomingdale become part of the Bloomingdale family. Sometimes they have to leave us, but they are not forgotten.
Here is a look at Anelkis Santos, who first came to Bloomingdale in the summer of 2017 when she was doing fieldwork for her Early Childhood Education degree from BMCC, a school that has sent us many fine students to learn in our classrooms. Anelkis progressed from being a substitute teacher to being a head teacher, and during much of her time with us she was in school, graduating from Lehman College in the spring of 2020. She left us in the fall of 2020 after she moved to Queens and the commute became too difficult, particularly with the Covid-19 pandemic. She is now working with 4th graders at an elementary school near her new home. She enjoys working with a new age group, but her heart is still with younger children. She is planning to start work on a Masters degree in Special Education and she praises the support she received at Bloomingdale to keep pursuing her educational dreams.
Anelkis was born in the Dominican Republic and came to New York with her parents and older brother when she was 8 years old. Learning English was a challenge, and her schools in Washington Heights did not have the best reputations but Anelkis has perseverance as her middle name and she did well. Her family remains very central to her and the birth of her nephew and niece confirmed her focus on Early Childhood Education. She had this to say, “I was so happy because I was learning a lot of new things that were going to help me take care of the new baby in the family. I got to understand his behavior in a different way. Part of my school observations were about him. When my nephew was born, I felt like he changed my life. I love him with all my heart….He motivated me to continue studying Early Childhood. He is now 4 years old, and I have always tried to be there for him. Now, he has a baby sister and I feel like those kids are mine! I’m very grateful to my brother and sister-in-law for making me a “Titi” twice !
Anelkis shared some thoughts about her time at Bloomingdale:
“I like a lot of things about The Bloomingdale Family Program. In the first place, as the name says, everyone is treated like family. It does not matter where you come from, your skin color, your language or if you are from a different culture. Everyone is accepted here. BFP is a small place where everybody is known. Teachers are very lovely with the children and always want the best for them. I like how children learn at their own pace and when they need help, teachers and therapists work with them to get the best of their behaviors. I like the different daily activities that teachers create for the children to get their hands on and minds on. I like how most of the parents are very integrated into the school and the school activities. Thank you, Bloomingdale Family, for all the great work you do everyday and for all the patience you need to have!!
Special thanks to José and Marilyn for giving me the opportunity to gain experience. Thank you Carmen and Delsa, Ryan, and Sonia, for teaching and allowing me to grow next to you… along with other Bloomingdale’s coworkers…I will never forget my Bloomingdale Family.”
You will not be forgotten, either, Anelkis. Watch the slideshow to see Anelkis with the children at Bloomingdale, and with her family: