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From the Desk of Gigi Schweikert Dear Winning Ways Reader and (Family Partner), As an early childhood professional, I once hide in a closet to avoid a difficult parent—certainly not one of the shining moments during my long career working with young This is me children. This Winning Ways book on partnering with presentin g. families is not full of ideas on how to avoid parents or hide from them, but how to work well with families and come together, even when we disagree. I know that you, like me, would do anything to help a child succeed. We guide children socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively. The interesting thing is that the best way we can help children learn and grow over the long term is to work closely with their families. When I was first teaching, I often thought, “As soon as I can get these parents out of the room, I can start teaching their children something.” I just didn’t realize that if I could influence and help a family, I could influence and help a child for a lifetime. Now I know that partnering with families is good for the parents, the child, and me. There are still some families that make me want to head for the closet, but now I better understand that, despite the differences or personalities clashes I might have with parents, we still have the same goal in mind: how can we help this child? After you’ve read this Winning Ways book, send me your ideas on how to work with families and your own closet stories at Children deserve our Winning Ways,