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A Sunday Paper Reader Nominated Anna Chiles as an Architect of Change. Here’s How She’s Changing the World One Kid at a Time

A Sunday Paper Reader Nominated Anna Chiles as an Architect of Change. Here’s How She’s Changing the World One Kid at a Time

By The Sunday Paper Team
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Sunday Paper reader Crystal Rowland Anderson recently nominated an Architect of Change she felt was worthy of a spotlight in The Sunday Paper. We describe Architects of Change as big thinkers, leaders, and visionaries who are moving humanity forward. Keep reading to find out why Crystal nominated this Architect of Change.

“My son, who was born happy and healthy in May 2020, was born with Down syndrome. Since then, I have had the privilege of meeting amazing Architects of Change in the disability community. One such person is my friend Anna Chiles, also a mom of a son with Down syndrome,” Crystal wrote to The Sunday Paper.

Crystal continued, “Anna encountered obstacles when searching for inclusive childcare options for [her son] Theo. She faced rejection from several preschools and daycare centers due to his disability. Determined to create a more inclusive environment for Theo and children like him, Anna founded Includ(Ed) San Diego. This nonprofit organization advocates for childcare for all children, regardless of their developmental abilities.”

As a teacher, Anna Chiles has always been committed to starting her child’s journey in education and school community early, but when she set out to find him a school, she was surprised and disheartened to experience almost universal rejection. In countless uncomfortable phone calls, preschool directors told her they lacked the staffing, experience, and education to welcome a child with Down syndrome to their school. None of the directors asked to meet Theo or asked any questions about his personality, behavior, skillset, or interests. All they needed to hear to say “no” was his diagnosis. 

The more she connected with parents in the disability community, the more Anna heard similar stories. Across San Diego county, babies and toddlers with disabilities are regularly excluded from childcare and early education, leaving children less prepared to start kindergarten and forcing many parents to leave the workforce to become their primary caregivers.

Like Crystal’s family, so many will benefit from the work of Anna Chiles, a true Architect of Change. “Through her perseverance and dedication, Anna is not only changing the lives of children like Theo, and my son, Thomas, but also challenging societal norms and advocating for a more compassionate and inclusive world. I believe that Anna Chiles and Includ(Ed) San Diego embody the spirit of Architects of Change. The work is transformative and serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for others.”

Today, Includ(Ed) San Diego is on a mission to build a fully-inclusive school where children with disabilities can learn alongside their typically developing peers.

Please support Include(Ed) by visiting their website or following them on Instagram.

Who are the Architects of Change in your life? Tell us in the comments below!

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