Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) is a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization. It aims to help families whose first language is not English, with programs for both parents and young children. The organization offers classes for children as well as language and parenting classes for adults, giving parents an easy method of childcare during their own lessons. The Northfield chapter of ECFE is housed in the Community Action Center and coordinated by Mary Loven. This term, Carleton has two students working for ECFE through Community-Based Work-Study: Rachel Kittaka '12 and Erin Anderson '12.
When asked why she chose to apply to work for ECFE, Rachel said, "I wanted to be more involved in the community since it's so easy to get lost in the college bubble. It is great to get away from the campus and feel a part of 'the real world.' It has helped me to feel more connected to and invested in the area in which I will be living for the next 2.5 years or so." She enjoys working with the children, and especially appreciates the opportunity to practice her Spanish in a laidback environment.
Erin agreed with Rachel's sentiments, saying that she applied for the job to become more active in the community and to gain work experience outside of Carleton. She said, "I love working with children and knowing that by doing so I am helping their parents learn English. It makes me feel like I am really promoting a good thing." She is also thankful for the skills she's learned while working at ECFE, sharpening her interpersonal skills and learning how to excell at time management.