Note from the Editor: This is an article in a series called "Wethersfield Heroes," where our students work to highlight and honor those in our community going above and beyond amidst the tumultuous year. If you know someone that you would like to nominate as a Wethersfield Hero, please contact Mr. Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Alanna DePinto and Allie Leahy
Colleen Keane is a teacher, mentor, caregiver and most importantly a Mom!
Ms.Keane is a Wethersfield resident who does so much for the community. She cares for children whose parents are busy working, teaching to be exact.
She started the daycare 18 years ago, when her daughter and WHS alumni Abbey was just one year old!.
Not only does Ms.Keane watch over the children, she teaches them. She has a background in healthcare, so she is able to help the children in certain aspects of their development, like fine motor skills, reading, writing, and so much more!
“I worked at a hospital for special care in New Britain, It’s a rehab hospital that specializes in people with brain injury and spinal cord injury, I was pregnant with Abbey at the time, and Conor was in the daycare on site there, I was debating whether I wanted to, or could financially stay home, it was more about that”
She goes onto say how she was going to go back to school for special education, but it became a dual certification, in that case she would have to take an entire year of to student teach, which she wasn’t ready to do. “This (home daycare) was kinda the next best thing to be on that type of schedule and be able to educate the little kids that I have.”
She finds teaching these things important because while the child's parents are at work, they are unable to assist in their development of these essential skills.
Ms.Keane does not do this alone! She is a single mother, with 3 children of her own! Conor (22), Abbey (19) and Riley (15).
She gets a lot of support from her own kids when caring for the children in the daycare. “When it comes to daycare they absolutely love it, they’ve always helped me out with the kids… it has been a juggle along the way, i’m a single mom, so the meetings in the evenings has always kinda been a juggle, but they (her kids) know how important this is to me.”
“I’ve also seen that now they’ve started to volunteer and do things in the community because they see the impact on what I have done and what I get from it, so it's a win win for both ends.”
Ms.Keane’s daycare is not the only way she has gotten involved in the Wethersfield community. When Connor went to Charles Wright Elementary, Ms .Keane got involved in PTO and held the position of president. When Connor started to play football, she got involved with the league committee and when Connor kept playing in high school she got involved with the Football boosters as well.
Ms. Keane did similar things for all of her children. Getting involved with the Swim and Dive boosters when Abbey was at WHS and now actively being involved with the Soccer boosters for Riley. Ms. Keane sees the groups she has been a part of as mini families of their own, and she is always ready to offer her help to them.
Ms. Keane told us she reached out to Melissa Whitaker, the one making sure football games run smoothly, and said if they ever needed help and were short handed at a game she (Ms.Keane) would be there. When asked Ms. Keane why she does volunteering like this, her response was, “I do it because I love it and I love the kids, I love the comradery of it all.”
With everything Ms. Keane does, she truly is a Wethersfield hero.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.