The children living in the Kate Ross neighborhood of South Waco are born into multi-generational urban poverty. Most likely, their parents and grandparents lived in poverty and grew up with same frightening insecurity in their own childhoods. The monumental task of simply surviving poverty puts an enormous physical and emotional toll on both parents and children. Starting from birth, a child’s brain begins to develop around repetitive experiences. When children live with this type of stress it slows down the neural connections that develop in a child’s brain the first five years of their lives. If there is no appropriate early intervention, neural connections become impaired in ways that last a lifetime. The result is a child who is unable to control their behavior, make good choices, or have academic success.
Talitha Koum’s goal is to send these children into public school at Kindergarten with a brain organized for learning, the emotional strength to self-regulate, problem solving skills, and compassion for others. It is the role of our therapeutic nursery to shape each child’s day with consistency of loving care, sensitivity to their individuality, and opportunities for self-expression.