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Meet Our Founder
The vision of All Five was inspired by 30 years of teaching early childhood education, in low-and high-income communities. Founder Carol Thomsen experienced young children being treated very differently in their first five years of life. Children from low-income families were assumed to need to be told how to learn and what to do, even though research shows that approach does not work and does not last. Children from high-income families were being nurtured using the latest research: their curiosity respected and rewarded with the opportunity to direct their own learning. That kind of learning has been shown to stick.
All Five is committed to bringing equity to early education, to the time when children’s brains grow the most.
Since opening in 2015, All Five has hired and trained ten teachers, six from the East Palo Alto/Belle Haven community. Three moms of children who attend or graduated from All Five, also from the community, have been inspired to become early education teachers.
Prior to All Five, Carol taught at, directed and founded several early education programs, including at Stanford’s Bing Nursery School, Stanford Sierra Camp, and at Head Start. During her Stanford undergraduate days, she also taught waterskiing, backcountry skiing, swimming and spent two years in Indonesia. She and her husband have raised two children in the community.