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Donna Candreva

Donna Candreva
Interim Director, Mesa Community College Children’s Center

“We really want to be allies in meeting children’s emotional and academic needs.”

As an educator, why did you choose to work with young learners?
Children at this age are so inquisitive. They are asking tons of questions and exploring every aspect of the world around them.

What do you like about it?
I love giving them hands on experiences with open ended materials and seeing what they do with them. You can almost see the learning that is taking place. There is such joy in their eyes as they grasp a concept or accomplish something new. We get to see this kind of learning take place every single day. What a gift!

What have you learned from your work?
Every child has the capacity and desire to learn. They just need supportive parents, teachers, and community members to support them in their journey.

What would you like parents to know about what you do?
Teachers view parents as the primary teacher of their chiId. We want them to help us understand the needs of their child, tell us how we can help, and ask us if they need help finding supportive resources. We really want to be allies in meeting children’s emotional and academic needs.

What would you like the public to know about the early childhood field?
I’d like them to understand more about the numerous research studies geared toward helping us understand the value of early childhood education. I would encourage the public to support policies and programming that try to effect change for young children. Every one of us will benefit from those efforts.

Career path
Donna Candreva, of Scottsdale, earned an Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, a Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Early Childhood Education, as well as an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Paradise Valley Community College. She earned a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Northern Arizona University and expects to complete a masters’ degree from NAU next year.

Personal interests:
Kayaking, geocaching, and tandem bike riding.

Donna has rescued injured and orphaned wild birds for a non-profit organization. “One of my favorites to hand feed were the Gila Woodpeckers. They hate to need you. They would squeal and fight you at every hand feeding time. I still very much enjoy being outside watching and observing wild birds. ”

Favorite book to read aloud:

Those Mean Nasty Dirty Downright Disgusting but Invisible Germs by Judith Anne Rice. “After just a couple of readings, the children have the title memorized and will catch you if you miss even one of the words. Really fun!”

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