January 11, 2023

Clayton's Core Values in Action

Clayton's Core Values in Action










Mahatma Gandhi wrote, "Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny." At Clayton Early Learning, we believe this also works in reverse – our values help to create habits and drive the actions, words, and thoughts that allow our belief in the unlimited potential of young children to become a reality.

Being clear on how we seek to approach our work, considering what values we want to exemplify and hold ourselves mutually accountable to, helps us work together more effectively, create a stronger culture, and advance our important mission.

Last fall, we reviewed and revised our Core Values to make sure they were clear, current and reflected our community. As such, we redefined the values that will guide us today and into the future. We are pleased to share our new Core Values and what they mean for us as we work to serve our children, families, and educators. 

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Community fosters belonging, resiliency, stability, and strength. We are committed to creating a caring, trauma-informed, professional community at Clayton and acting as a positive member of the many communities we partner with and serve. Community means living the seven Sanctuary commitments, which include: nonviolence, emotional intelligence, social learning, democracy, open communication, social responsibility, and growth and change.

Living this value at Clayton means we support each other, we ask for help, we act as a good partner to other organizations we work with, and we provide excellent services and support to the communities we serve.

Collaboration builds trust and relationships and brings new ideas, skills, and knowledge to help us do better work. We are committed to approaching our work as one team across Clayton. Collaboration means working across teams, departments, and with our external partners.

How does this look in practice? It means we communicate with each other, we ask questions about each other’s work, we share new ideas with each other, and we seek to deepen our external partnerships in the greater community.

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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging leads us to exemplify the communities we serve and bring the widest variety of ideas and innovation to our work. We are committed to building and sustaining an organization centered on diversity, equity, and belonging. Diversity means building a team that is reflective of the world around us, in all aspects of our personal and professional backgrounds. Equity means recognizing that we need to provide different resources to meet different needs and circumstances that are often the result of systemic injustice; it is core to everything we do in service of our children and families and in how we work with each other. Inclusion refers to a community where all members are and feel respected and are able to participate and achieve their potential. A true sense of Belonging means that everyone who enters the Clayton campus is valued for who they are and can meaningfully say, “I belong here.”

Some of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are by hiring and retaining a diverse team, examining our internal systems and practices to ensure we are working in equitable ways, and embracing differences among our colleagues.

Growth allows us to develop as professionals and to provide the best services we can to the children, families, and educators we serve. We are committed to growing as individuals and as an organization. Growth means we are continually learning how to do our individual and collective work better as we adapt and evolve our programs and practices to reflect new learning and to meet changing needs.

We live our value of growth by setting goals and working towards them, staying current on new information in our areas of work, and making mistakes and learning from them.

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Stewardship enables us to have the greatest impact we can with the resources we have. We are committed to being good stewards of our community and our resources. Stewardship means using our financial resources wisely and responsibly so that we can sustain our work into the future, taking care of our unique and beautiful campus so it can remain a resource for our community, and caring for our community and team while treating each other with respect and responsibility.

On a day-to-day basis, this means we manage our budgets and spend our money wisely, keep our facilities clean and well-maintained, and take care of each other.

Fun reduces stress, keeps us motivated, builds connections, and models for our children the joy that can come with learning and working together. We are committed to having fun! Fun means noticing and sharing ideas that bring us joy, being creative in our work, making connections with each other, and finding humor and hope in everything that we do.

What does this look like? It means we strive to laugh often, plan and participate in more community activities, and share experiences that bring us joy.

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We hope that as you continue to follow the work we do – or participate in with us – you will see our core values in action. When you do, we’d love to hear from you so we can share your thoughts and impressions with our colleagues! Please feel free to contact either Bryanna Warren at bwarren@claytonearlylearning.org or Monica Gereda mgereda@claytonearlylearning.org. 

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