Teachers are humble heroes who invest in our community by building tomorrow’s leaders. Looking back, you probably remember the teacher who changed everything for you.
For LaShon Carter, it was her first-grade teacher at Orchard Knob Elementary who inspired her to pursue a career in education.
“There was something about her spirit that made me enjoy school,” Carter says. “If I saw her today, I would give her a pat on the back because my future would not be the same without her.”
Blocks away from her childhood home near Highland Park, Carter opened Tiny Tigers Learning Center, an affordable childcare facility focused on educational readiness. The facility caters to children between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 years old, offering day-to-day care along with summer and after school programs.
With one college degree in criminal justice and another in human services, Carter approaches education with a unique mindset geared toward early enrichment and progressive exposure.
“I walk around the neighborhood talking to my neighbors and asking them what their kids need,” Carter says. “When you look at the test scores, you have to ask yourself what you can do to help these kids stay in school.”
A self-proclaimed “hustler,” Carter goes above and beyond to make sure her students are prepared for the Hamilton County School system, often working late nights and weekends. Parent-teacher relationships, year-round learning and innovative teaching strategies set Tiny Tigers Learning Center apart from the traditional daycare model.
“We don't stop – we learn all year round. Especially in the summer, we try to make our program educational and fun,” Carter says. “Because of course standards, schools sometimes forget to make learning fun enough for kids to remember.”
After schools closed due to the pandemic, Tiny Tigers Learning Center shifted its curriculum to an online platform. Keeping her students on track, Carter uses Google Classroom to tutor kids struggling to learn virtually.
“In the virtual program, you start off by purchasing a binder of lessons for $35, then add to your binder for $15 per extra lesson,” Carter says. “I schedule one-on-one phone calls with kids usually on the weekends or later on the weekdays when parents are home.”
As enrollment numbers grow, Carter works to broaden her bandwidth and meet the needs of more kids in the area. She also plans to eventually purchase the daycare’s property.
“From the playground to how they cleaned it up, my neighborhood has changed a lot since I grew up there, but it’s a good change,” Carter says. “It makes me feel like my business needs to be there because the Highland Park community is going to invest in me.”
If you're interested in enrolling your child or want to learn more about Tiny Tigers Learning Center, visit here.