Heather White ~ Site Leader
Hi, I am Mrs. Heather. This is my third year with M &M and my second year as the Site Director here at Grand River. I started with M&M as an enrichment specialist in the 2nd grade class, in which I enjoyed every moment. I had the privilege of becoming the assistant director last fall and then was asked to become the Site Director. I am looking forward to starting of this year with a great team and new ideas. I absolutely LOVE my job and being able to work with all the different children. These kids are amazing in the own ways! I have worked with children for over 20 years and feel that I have brought new experiences here to GRA. I am super excited for the new school year and can’t wait to see what this year should bring and what is to come! “What we learn becomes a part of who we are.”—Kathy R. Jeffords
Adrienne Washington ~ Assistant Site Leader & First /Second Grade Specialist
Hi, I am Ms. Adrienne and I was born and raised in Detroit. I taught Preschool for Hartford Head start for twenty years. I’ve been an Enrichment Specialist for three years. This year I am the assistant site director. I taught character development, health and nutrition, cooking with children, and arts and crafts. This is my third year at Grand River Academy with M and M extra care. I enjoy cooking, eating, group activities and spending time with my four grandchildren.
Chyna Tookes ~ Kindergarten Specialist
Hi, I am Ms. Chyna and I am from Detroit. This is fourth year that I will be with M and M. I have traveled to Virginia Beach as well as Jackson, Mississippi both on vacations for family reunions. And while there, it's taught me that family is something that is truly important to me. During the day, I manage to work and attend school. (Wayne State University) I believe that since working here, I've developed better communication skills, I've definitely gained a lot of patience and I learned the importance of working as a team. :) During my spare time, I like to read books and watch T.V.
Yulissa Casique ~ First/Second Grade Enrichment Specialist
Hi, I am Ms. Yulissa! I am from Southgate, Michigan. This is my first year with M & M and I couldn’t be any more excited! I am currently at Henry Ford College studying for Pre-Elementary Education Degree. Ever since I was young, children made me happy. I have experience with children since I have babysat since I was young & have been in Youth Clubs/Church Teen Leader. I am looking forward to be part of the M & M Team to make new friends, new discoveries, new adventures & most of all, educate & have an amazing time with students! In my spare time I like to be with my family and Listen to music! :)
Mika Green ~ Third/Fourth Grade Specialist
This is my first year with M&M. I work with adults with special needs during the day and enjoys new challenges! I am so happy to be learning new things, every day, with my students and they bring the end of my work day and give me plenty of joy!
Dominique Hurt ~ Third/Fourth Grade Specialist
Hi, my name is Dominique Hurt but I'm referred to as Ms. Dominique here at M and M Grand River Academy. It has been my pleasure to be a part of the M and M staff for about 4 years and counting. I have been working with children since I was fifteen years old and have found that it has become a huge part of who I am. I've attended Baker College of Flint and Marygrove College, majoring in Early Childhood Development as well as Elementary Education. I have a passion for encouraging our youth to find Strength in their individuality and to know the Power they possess to change the world. "Today you are you, this is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than you!"- Dr. Seuss
Cynthia Sandusky ~ Fifth/Sixth Grade Specialist
Hi, I'm Ms. Cynthia. I'm joyful and excited to have joined M&M last year. I have experience working with infants and school age kids. I had the opportunity of working with military families at the USAF for 4 years. I also have worked with the afterschool program here in Michigan. I'm a proud parent of two boys, a three-year-old and thirteen-year-old. On my weekends, I love to spend time with my family and explore new places. I also like to travel. I love working with kids I believe there is always something to learn from them. I like to be there for them, listening and encouraging them. We can make a difference in their lives and I want to be a part of that experience.
Aliya Davis ~ Sixth/Seventh/Eighth Grade Specialist
Hello, everyone, I am Ms. Aliya! I was born in Montgomery, AL and raised in Detroit, MI. At the age of three I began dancing in Metro Detroit. I am the founder of a dance organization that mission is to enrich, empower, and inspire the lives of youths and our community through dance. My passion is to inspire students in the inner city by promoting diversity and creativity through the art of dance with a foundation of creativity, self-awareness, discipline, and accountability. Besides dance, my number one passion is mentoring youth. I am currently completing her degree in Social Work at Spring Arbor University. I enjoy interaction with the children, staff and parents and always very eager to become more involved in the guidance aspects of positive development.
Jena Rushton - Customer Care Specialist
Jena started as an Enrichment Specialist with M&M in 2013 at South Pointe Scholars. A year later, Jena helped M&M Extra Care grow, as the new Site Leader at Grand River Academy. In 2015 she became our Customer Care Specialist. Jena’s bubbly personality can be felt through the phone or email and she is loved by all! Jena recently had a life change and moved to Atlanta, but thanks to the wonderful world of technology, she has been able to remain, to help families navigate the registration, billing, and scheduling practices of M&M.
Tara Ball - Operations Manager
Tara has been with M & M since 2009 and also began as an Enrichment Specialist. But with Tara’s extensive experience and expertise in School-Age programming, it was clear her role was to include so much more. Tara is instrumental in providing high quality care at M&M. Tara is a valuable coach and leader to all Specialists, Site Leaders and even the Administrative Team. Tara will often step into a classroom to cover a shift, to help train a new specialist, or even just because she LOVES working with the kids! Tara’s greatest love—planning and working summer camp!
Madonna Mrocca - Owner
As the owner of M&M Daycare, Inc., Madonna has been providing care for children since 1995. As a parent of two children who attended NHA Schools, Madonna understands the important role that M&M Plays in providing a quality school-age program. She believes that each child shall be treated as an individual and will have caring professionals provide a safe, nurturing environment. Additionally, independence, exploration, and a feeling of self-worth will be encouraged and opportunities for social-emotional growth, recreational activities and educational learning will be provided.
As a Licensed Childcare Program, all staff must complete comprehensive background checks, which include fingerprinting, FBI, CPS, DHS and State Police record searches. The State of Michigan administers and provides the systems for these checks.
Many of our Enrichment Specialists have completed or are pursuing degrees in Education or other Child Related fields. All Staff are required to participate in ongoing Continuing Education throughout the year. Although the minimum requirement of licensing is 16 clock hours per year, all M & M Team Members are required to complete at least 24 clock hours annually within the following Core Knowledge Areas:
It is imperative that our specialists play an active role in lesson planning to provide a diverse and enriching experience in before and after-school care. Time is provided for the Enrichment Specialists to prepare for their day with supplies and planning for at least 30 minutes prior to and 30 minutes after the students are present.
We expect our Specialists to develop relationships with their students and their families, to promote a safe and nurturing environment and to foster a supportive partnership with the parents or guardians in the role of caring for each student.
Our Site Leaders are there to provide support to our staff, the students in our program and to their parents. On a daily basis, they monitor Enrichment Specialist classrooms to ensure that our specialists are meeting or exceeding our quality expectations. The Site Leaders work closely with the enrichment specialists to establish that they have quality lesson plans which include a variety of educational and social activities. The Site Leader also maintains the flow of communication between M & M Extra Care and the school sites, speaking to teachers and other school staff about how we can work together to best support the students in our care.
Site Leaders also work with the students to help them remember the moral focus and help encourage positive behavior choices.
Additionally, Site Leaders are present to provide support and resources for our M & M Parents, working with them to guarantee that their student is given the opportunities and activities to keep them engaged and involved during the before and after-school care program.