Jane Zopatti-Lewis

“To see kids stabilized, to see families stabilized, and to have children reunite with families and be successful – I think that’s the biggest thing.”

 

Interviewee: Jane Zopatti-Lewis 

Interviewer: Amanda G., Grade 12

Interview Date: December 11, 2014

Interview Location: Italian Home for Children, Jamaica Plain, MA

Student Reflection:
 

On December 11, 2014 I had the experience of visiting the Italian Home for Children where I met and interviewed Jane Zopatti-Lewis, the Head of Education at the Home. Throughout the interview she told me about the children and the daily routine at the Home. Ms. Zoppati-Lewis came to the Italian Home in September of 1990, and explained how “I came here as the director of education and that’s been my role for the whole 24 years.” She has dedicated her life to helping others and it is clear that her love and passion for the job is shown in her daily work. Having spent 24 years at the Italian Home, she describes the job as a challenge, yet very rewarding. According to Ms. Zopatti-Lewis, the Italian Home for Children does an excellent job at not only helping children and families, but giving them confidence and guiding them to lead better lives.

 

“We run much like a typical school; we have six classrooms, a teacher and two assistants and anywhere between five and ten students in class. We follow the state curriculum frameworks and we also follow the IEP’s. Every child who comes here has an individual education plan.”

“Some kids are angry. Other kids are dealing with a whole lot more than school issues.”

“We have clinical resources, family support, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy as well as outreach to make sure children and families have support in their community…making sure the family knows they have access to all other community services.”

“To see kids stabilized, to see families stabilized, and to have children reunite with families and be successful – I think that’s the biggest thing.”

“Make sure the children get served first.”

“In working with the children I feel like this whole segment of the population that the outside world doesn’t see. Some of the things these children have gone through you wonder, ‘Oh my gosh,’ how do they get out of bed. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are abused and neglected kids; just kids who struggle at times.”