HOMETOWN HERO: Bobette Allen is creating a loving space for children in Dunnellon

HOMETOWN HERO: Bobette Allen is creating a safe, loving space for children in Dunnellon
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 9:45 AM EST
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DUNNELLON, Fla. (WCJB) - “My babies are my life. There my love. They are my everything. If it wasn’t for them, oh my god I don’t know where I would be today”. It is that raw emotion and love that led Bobette Allen, or Mrs. Bobbie, to start Little Jem Stones Academy.

“Oh my god I just love them and they did not ask to be here. All I want to do is take care of them I love them and make sure they’re safe and they’re in a loving environment and they have somewhere they could come to it just enjoy childhood”

Mrs. Bobbie began operating Little Jem Stones in 1998 as a home daycare in Miami Gardens.

She moved to Dunnellon in 2013 and opened three locations.

“There’s never a moment that I said I’m not going to work today. There’s never a moment that I don’t feel like going to work today. My passion is to wake up and to be here for them” said Allen.

The love Mrs. Bobbie expresses to her kiddos is also received by their parents, who describe her as family.

“She’s pretty much like a grandma figure to my daughter. Honestly, my daughter adores her and again it goes back to it being her life” said parent, Brandie Snyder.

“She is a lot more than just a daycare teacher. She is a bonus mom, she’s a community support. It goes beyond these four walls” said parent, Chelsey Lynn.

Mrs. Bobbie has a wall lined in the daycare with her past kiddos that are now in college, working or even sending their own babies to her.

“I just believe that she does it from the heart,” said co-worker, Emily Harris. “When you do stuff from the heart and it’s your calling, it just becomes natural. It’s not a pretend thing, it’s a natural thing for her to take care, to nurture, she’s very nurturing and motherly. She just loves people and I think that makes the most difference when you do it from that point of view, from the heart”

Miss Bobbie said she wants to be working at Little Jem Stones for the rest of her life.

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