HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
November 6, 2006, Herald Journal

Amazing accomplishments a big part of children’s lives

By JEN BAKKEN

This week’s Tiny Tales isn’t about silly or funny things said or done by the children in our lives.

This week, it’s about the truly amazing accomplishments, milestones, and life-changing moments that happen in children’s lives and, in turn our lives.

Tracy Herkenhoff, of Delano, has worked in the Early Childhood Special Education Department at Delano Elementary School for six and one- half years, and has witnessed many of these moments.

“Looking back on the milestones my three boys accomplished, such as their first steps, first words, learning their ABC’s, counting, and writing their names, it makes me pause and realize how for every child, these tasks are not so easily attained.

Having worked in the Early Childhood Special Education program, milestones are measured a bit differently, yet are important to the children and their families,” Herkenhoff said, full of nostalgia.

“I am amazed by what seems like a small step to one, can be life-changing for another. When you see a child who could not walk when they first came to us, walking independently down the hall a few years later, it is truly amazing.

“When you see a child who cannot verbally communicate with their peers, speak via assisted technologies, and know how this will help build friendships, this is a life changing moment.

“When you see children who struggle every day integrated into our schools and classrooms and watch first-hand how they are accepted by their peers, we know this will not only benefit the child, but will help build compassion and caring in our students.

“Though we, as parents, may measure our children’s milestones differently, all will have a profound effect not only on us, but on our children and who they will become someday.”

So, this week, Tiny Tales may not make us laugh but it should make us smile, maybe wipe a few tears from our eyes and take a moment to reflect, remember, and appreciate all those little ones in our lives.

Tiny Tales is a column dedicated to children in our community and the times when they create a wonderful story to tell. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, family member, caregiver, teacher, or anyone with a child in you life . . . there’s always a tiny tale to tell.

It may be cute or funny things a child has said or done; any of those endearing moments you’d love to share with others, and people, like me, enjoy reading.

Here in Delano, we are proud of our community, our schools, and our children . . . why not have a column about our little ‘tigers’?

You can email your tiny tales to; jbakken@hjpub.com or mail them to Tiny Tales, PO Box 498, Delano, MN 55328, or just stop by our office next to New Attitudes Salon, Hwy 12 East.