When a District Mom Wanted the Best for Her Family, Bright Beginnings was There

The first thing Denise Day did after shots rang out while she was taking her children outside one evening 23 years ago was check to make sure her kids hadn’t been hit.

The family was living in a public-housing project in Southeast Washington. Everyone knew that when you heard gunfire you dropped to the floor, below the windows, but these shots had been fired as Day and her toddlers were in the building’s vestibule.

“My immediate response was to grab my kids,” she said.

She took them upstairs to their apartment, stripping off their clothes to look for injuries.


Denise Day, a former client and now an associate teacher at Bright Beginnings preschool in Washington, in Room 2, where 12- and 24-month-olds learn (and nap), on Wednesday, Jan. 2. (John Kelly/The Washington Post)

“They said they were okay,” Day said.

But someone had been hit. There was blood in the hallway.

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