Sanaa Mehtar has been working with Community Action Marin for nine years. She started out as an Associate Teacher and is now serving as the Lead Teacher at the Manzanita Children’s Center in Marin City. Born and raised in India, Sanaa attended Bombay University before working in Dubai for 17 years. After having her daughters, Sanaa made a career switch from market research to education. She and her family moved to the U.S. 12 years ago, and her journey with Community Action Marin began in 2014.
Sanaa shares: “I have passion for children; I love to serve others. I love this program, its mission, and its values of relationship, inclusivity, unity, and services. I connect to our vision statement that “All of us in Marin have an equal opportunity to live our lives with dignity and respect.’”
Of raising her daughters, Sanaa says: “I’ve raised my two daughters with lot of dedication and passed on my own values of being an environmentalist and advocate for social justice. I have taught them to be mindful of using the resources and be kind towards all the living creatures on this planet.”
As an educator, Sanaa’s focus includes teaching the CATCH curriculum which is about creating healthy environments for students and creating excitement around physical activity, health, and wellness in the after-school program. Sanaa also focuses on anti-bias training and creating a positive learning environment for the children in her class.
Sanaa creates space for her children’s cultures within the classroom: “We encourage and support home languages. We sing and engage with them n English, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, all the languages spoken in our classroom.”
Her class was recently selected as the pilot for teaching CATCH, and she was invited to share her success at the Spring Early Learning Summit hosted by the Marin County Office of Education and the College of Marin. Sanaa is also a passionate advocate on behalf of Marin families. Last year, when Marin City and Sausalito formed a unified school district, Sanaa appealed for a year-long extension so families in Marin would have time to find necessary and affordable after-school care.
Sanaa hopes to continue positively impacting the lives of children in our community. “It’s so heartwarming when our alumni come back and ask, ‘Do you remember me?” and to know I’ve touched so many lives in my 23 years of teaching. Seeing those smiles on our kiddo’s faces is the most rewarding experience. I am honored to be able to play such a role in the lives of the families we serve and to be able to show them that I am someone who truly supports them and that they can trust me.”
Learn more about Children and Family Services on our website. (https://camarin.org/service/children/)