SUMMER SCHOOLING

Photography By: Brian Sager

A quick chat with Small Friends of Nantucket’s new executive director, Nichole Olson.

N MAGAZINE: You have over a decade of experience in childcare—what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever heard a kid say or do?

OLSON: Of course, I have a new story every day that makes me smile. What I will say is that I have been so lucky in my career to go to work and have a child make me a picture, perhaps say their first word, or make me laugh out loud. When one of those things happens, really how can you have a bad day?

N MAGAZINE: What are you most excited for in your new position?

OLSON: It is a big job raising “Small Friends.” It is my distinct privilege to have the opportunity to serve as the executive director of this organization. I am deeply honored and humbled by this designation. It is a pleasure to work with an experienced and passionate staff to deliver high-quality early childhood education program that will instill basic fundamental knowledge and skills for our children to be successful.

N MAGAZINE: What’s one tip you think every parent needs to know?

OLSON: I firmly believe that “it takes a village” to raise a child and that every parent needs to be an active part of their child’s educational journey. When your child knows you are interested in what they are learning, it is inspirational to them and they strive to achieve more.

N MAGAZINE: There are many schools of thought out there about kids and devices and screen time. What are your thoughts?

OLSON: As seen in most of our lives each day, society relies so much on technology for all kinds of information. As an educator, I believe there has to be a balance in the amount of time a child spends using technology. It is important for parents to understand the content they are accessing, and how that information is shaping their character and influencing their morals and belief system. This is where parents play a critical role in their child’s education.

N MAGAZINE: What do you think the biggest challenge is in raising kids in this day of age?

OLSON: There are several challenges that face our children in this day and age. We are fortunate enough to live in an age where all sorts of information and social connections are at our finger tips. This is both a blessing and a curse. As parents and educators, protecting our children from harm and keeping them safe is paramount. Teaching our children thoughtful and appropriate ways to express themselves will foster a culture of acceptance and inclusion.

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