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GO KIDS, INC. “Touching Lives Today… Educating for Tomorrow” Written By Kimberly Ewertz A foundation built on education and a positive environment provides children the tools necessary to succeed and the potential for limitless possibilities. The organization, Go Kids Inc., offers just that. The nonprofit agency has been providing comprehensive child development services for children ages birth to 12 years, for low-income families in the South County area, for the past 40 years. It all began in 1975 with a grant awarded by the City of Morgan Hill. “Back then it wasn’t even a center,” Larry Drury, Go Kids CEO for the past 18 years, said. “They wanted to do something for low-income families. So, our job was to train low-income women to become family child care providers, that’s how it started.” Since the incorporation of the nonprofit in 1978 the agency’s philosophy continuously promotes learning through experiences that are fun, stimulating, and challenging. Go Kids provides services for Santa Clara, San Benito, Monterey, and Santa Cruz counties. To successfully serve thousands of families requires a team of dedicated professionals. Drury admits the most challenging part of his job has been finding enough staff. But once he finds them, he says, “they stay a long time.” “They tell you, this is a really good place to work,” Drury said. Long-time member of the Go Kids team, Rocio Hernandez, Child and Adult Center Food Program GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Fiscal Manager, first came to the agency 13 years ago as a teacher’s assistant. Soon after, Hernandez transitioned into a full teaching position after securing an Associate’s degree in Child Development. Several years later she trans- ferred to the fiscal department, where she worked closely with families in the enrollment process. “They really need our help,” Hernandez said, adding, “When you really get involved with them you see the importance of our job, as a teacher, as a family worker. Because a lot of families depend on what we do for them.” Now in her current role supervising the kitchen, she and her staff of six provide breakfast, lunch and a snack to over 300 children a day—a total of 17,286 meals per month. The meals are distributed to the Go Kids eight childcare centers in addition to the California Young Girl organization in Sunnyvale. “The mission of Go Kids is for a child to reach their greatest potential,” Hernandez said. “I really embrace that philosophy, the mission to take care of the children, help the families,” Hernandez said, adding, “I am really in love with Go Kids.” Drury is equally passionate about his role at the agency. “It’s a lot of fun,” Drury said, adding, his favorite part is the interaction with the children. “I just laugh so hard at the kids they’re the sweetest things. I get the biggest kick out of it.” Drury credits his administrative staff and the agency’s spotless reputation for the success and AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018 gmhtoday.com 113