St. Joseph Center
Volunteer: Terry Teplin
St. Joseph Center provides working poor families, as well as homeless men, women and children of all ages, with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community.
Terry Teplin was transitioning out of her position at LA Valley College as Director of the Child Development Center, when she was first introduced to St. Joseph Center. She was looking for ways to use her expertise and to give back to communities in need, and she quickly realized that the “Farm to Preschool” curriculum she helped develop in her professional career would be a perfect fit for the low-income children and families served at St. Joseph Center’s Early Learning Center (ELC). Terry’s dedicated service to the ELC has improved the students’ experience in so many ways. Through “Farm to Preschool” the children build reading, writing, and math skills. Cooking projects and gardening foster team work and promote positive socialization; something as simple as the students sharing their opinions about the fruit/vegetable encourages pro-social development and builds courage and self-esteem. Through her service, Terry, along with her husband Neal, have had a huge impact on the healthy eating habits of the working poor families who utilize the Center’s Food Pantry and whose children attend the ELC.