Children have been blessed through Barbara Mease

Published 11:11 am Friday, October 25, 2013

There are countless youngsters in Western Tidewater whose lives have been affected positively, thanks in large measure to Barbara Mease. That’s because she had a vision to provide children a foundation in learning, even before starting their education in kindergarten or first grade. That goal became known as the Children’s Center, which has grown from a Sunday School classroom in 1983 to its eighth location in 2013.

Thirty years later, with the program firmly in place, Mease decided to announce her retirement as the founding executive director. The news was made official last Friday to the 215-member staff, family and friends.

As if her work with the center weren’t enough, Mease was also active during the 1990s in forming and supporting a childhood council coalition that became Smart Beginnings Western Tidewater.

During the retirement ceremony, Rosalind Cutchins, acting executive director, referred to Mease at one point as “a champion of Smart Beginnings.”

We think that’s an accurate description of her in general. Mease has been an advocate of children all along the way.

Don Robertson, the center’s board president, made a comment the evening of her retirement announcement, which sums up Mease’s overall effect in the community: “she’s been a blessing.” Well put.

And if you’re a parent with a child in the Head Start or Early Head Start programs, we know you’ll join us in saying a prayer of thanks that there are people like Barbara Mease who care as much as you for children in Western Tidewater.