Author Archive for elcpsjadmin

VROOM app brings parents and kids together to play

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We are excited about the VROOM app! It’s free for parents to find fun ways to connect with their kids. Join Vroom today. There are more than 1,000 different activities. It’s on Apple and Google Play. You can find it there or visit: https://www.facebook.com/joinvroom/ or https://www.vroom.org/

Family Engagement Month is November – Activities for Your Family

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November is Family Engagement Month

Join us as we celebrate families and encourage families to be engaged in their child’s learning, development and well-being.

Did you know that family engagement is important because it supports children’s school readiness and promotes children’s school success by increasing motivation? It also reduces behavioral problems and improves the social-emotional development of children. Family engagement also fosters skills in young children such as impulse control, attention, memory and planning skills.

Celebrating Families

Throughout the month of November, we want to celebrate Florida’s families. Be sure to use #EngagedFamiliesFL when posting on social media. The Office of Early Learning will be sharing #EngagedFamiliesFL tagged posts on our social media throughout the month. You can follow along using #EngagedFamiliesFL on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Family Engagement Materials

Vroom Week

November 18-22

A child’s brain grows the fastest from birth through age 5! Helping them learn now gets them ready for school, friends and life.

Parents, the time you spend with your child helps their brain grow strong. Even a few minutes count! Learn how to turn every day moments into brain building moments with Vroom. You already have what it takes!

Vroom Week Flyer

Download (PDF, 580KB)

[RELEASE] Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and Amazing Grace Crop Maze Host Literacy Event

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PRESS RELEASE

 

Contact: Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Outreach Manager

Email: jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org

Phone: (904) 342-2267

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and Amazing Grace Crop Maze Host Literacy Event

 

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla., October 29, 2019 –  The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) hosted their fourth early literacy Fall event at the Amazing Grace Crop Maze in Green Cove Springs. Twenty-one local preschools attended the day’s event for a total of almost 500 children.

During the morning hours, the venue provided hay rides to preschool children which drove them through pumpkin patches. In the afternoon, there was a crop-maze science adventure. Children also enjoyed a mini hay bale maze and were included in other various farm attractions such as rat rollers, duck races, a giant corn popper trampoline and visiting Uncle Buck’s farm animals. 

 

What makes ELC days at the maze so special is that along with all of the regular farm activities like the corn maze, tractor rides, a petting zoo, jump pad, ball zone and corn play bins, the children get to make a fun fall craft with the help of the ELC outreach team. The children are also read the story “Spookley the Square Pumpkin” and are given a free copy of the book to take home. Child care providers in attendance from Bradford, Clay, Putnam, St. Johns and Duval counties received a bagful of assorted Spookley books as well as other Fall-related books. 

The ELC is happy to have this partnership with the Amazing Grace Crop Maze. “Getting kids to experience the farm and learn more about agriculture is such a good educational experience,” said Joan Whitson, ELC outreach coordinator for the event. 

The Early Learning Coalition is the leading voice in six counties for child care. ELC works with many other local agencies to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. Their mission is achieved by leading projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, and advocate child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and how assist in ensuring quality child care for all families, visit us at www.elcnorthflorida.org.

 

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) volunteers Che’ Russell, Bonnie Nakino, Erika Bauserman and ELC Outreach Coordinator Joan Whitson enjoying story time with Spookley the Square Pumpkin at Amazing Grace Crop Maze on October 9, 2019.

VPK students from Lake Asbury Elementary waiting to get on the tractor ride at Amazing Grace Crop Maze on October 16, 2019.

Flora and the Flamingo Make Their Debut in North Florida

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) volunteer Kathy Stawara of Orange Park (AKA “The Flamingo”) and ELC outreach assistant Sandi Dunnavant with children at Baker County Pre-K in Macclenney.

The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s (ELC) outreach team debuted their new music and movement literacy program in pre-schools this past spring and summer in Clay and Baker Counties. They will expand the program to include Bradford, Putnam, Nassau and St. Johns Counties in the Fall. The program, geared to 3-5 year olds, is meant to highlight the importance of music and movement as it pertains to a child’s learning and development.  

 

Books like “Rupert Can Dance” by Jules Feiffer, “Down by the Cool of the Pool” by Tony Mitten and “Flora and the Flamingo” by Molly Idle are highlighted during this program.  During the reading of Flora and the Flamingo one of the ELC volunteers dresses up as the flamingo then picks a child from the class they are visiting to join them in acting out the story. Whatever dance movement the flamingo does, Flora copies it. The children get to dance to different kinds of music and make music with bells.

 

Volunteers are the key to success for this program and the other themed programs that the ELC puts on, including: Space, Meet the Masters, Dinosaurs, Ocean Themed, Mother Goose “Rhymers are Readers” and Eric Carle’s World of Colors. Volunteers help the ELC in two main ways. The first is by being an outreach volunteer that assists in putting on programs. These volunteers read stories, sing songs, lead craft activities and maybe wear themed costumes – such as a shark for the ocean themed program. The second way volunteers help is by being a weekly reading volunteer to a group of local preschool children. Reading volunteers get the privilege of exposing the same group of children each week to great books and get to plant the seed of early reading.

 

Exposing children to the arts at a young age is very important to building their creativity.  Learning to dance or play and instrument builds confidence which is so important to early child development.  The ELC outreach team regularly puts on themed literacy programs in local childcare centers and preschool classrooms.  The goal of these programs is to expose children to quality literature and to reach important topics that children need to learn.  The children receive a FREE book relating to the theme of the program and the classroom receives a bag of teaching resources and books to further teach the topic at a later time. 

 

For more information about volunteering contact Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Outreach Manager at jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org or 904-342-2267. 

 

The ELC provides child care assistance to families who meet certain income requirements and who are working or going back to school. This school readiness program is designed to increase a child’s chance of achieving future educational success. The ELC also administers and manages Florida’s FREE VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds). 

 

For more information about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and its other programs and services, please visit, www.elcnorthflorida.org or call 904-342-2267.

 

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

Ocean Themed Literacy Program Makes a Big Splash with Local Children

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s volunteer Julia Frederick dressed as a shark acting out a rhyme with children from Brandts Child Care in St. Augustine.

Over the summer the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s (ELC) outreach team is holding a series of ocean themed literacy programs in local preschool centers.

 

The programs consist of an interactive story time featuring ocean themed books, songs and rhymes followed by an activity time. During the activity time the children get to make their own ocean in a bottle, paint seashells, make sand necklaces and ocean themed hats. Children learn about marine creatures and life in the coral reefs as they feel real pieces of coral and touch different types of shells. Each child receives a free ocean themed book to take home.

 

Volunteers are the key to success for this program and the other themed programs that the ELC puts on, including: Space, Meet the Masters, Dinosaurs, Mother Goose “Rhymers are Readers” and Eric Carle’s World of Colors. Volunteers help the ELC in two main ways. The first is by being an outreach volunteer that assists in putting on programs. These volunteers read stories, sing songs, lead craft activities and maybe wear themed costumes – such as a shark for the ocean themed program. The second way volunteers help is by being a weekly reading volunteer to a group of local preschool children. Reading volunteers get the privilege of exposing the same group of children each week to great books and get to plant the seed of early reading.

 

For more information about volunteering contact Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Outreach Manager at jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org or 904-342-2267.

 

The ELC provides child care assistance to families who meet certain income requirements and who are working or going back to school. This school readiness program is designed to increase a child’s chance of achieving future educational success. The ELC also administers and manages Florida’s FREE VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds). 

 

For more information about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and its other programs and services, please visit, www.elcnorthflorida.org or call 904-342-2267.

 

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

Helping Hands Newsletter – July Edition

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Enjoy the Helping Hands Newsletter for July! Look for local updates and fun family ideas for the summer. Please note, the correct date for the Early Educators Conference is Saturday, January 18th, 2020.

 

Download here.

 

Download (PDF, 1.43MB)

Free Books for Children at St. Augustine Day Care

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PRESS RELEASE

 

Contact: Joan Whitson, Early Learning Literacy Coordinator,

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida, Inc.

Email: jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org  

Phone: 904-342-2267

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Image/Caption:  Members of both the Sertoma and Kiwanis Club of St. Augustine are pictured with the children of Brandts Child Care Center holding up their first book from the Ferst Foundation on June 13, 2019.

Photo Link: https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Ferst_Foundation.jpg

 

Free Books for Children at St. Augustine Day Care

St. AUGUSTINE, Fla., June 20, 2019 – All preschoolers at a St. Augustine Day care are now receiving a book a month plus literacy resources for an entire year because of a team of local literacy supporters.

 

In an effort to support the youngest of readers, the St. Augustine Sertoma Club and the Kiwanis Club of St. Augustine teamed up with Ferst Readers are sponsoring Brandts Day Care for one year. On June 13, 2019 The first book, Read to Me, was delivered by members of each club, a Ferst Readers representative and a very special guest, the popular literacy character Pete the Cat!

 

“Amazing things happen when groups come together to help our most valuable and vulnerable resource – our children,” said Literacy Coordinator for the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida Joan Whitson.  

Joan Whitson, Kiwanis member, has been working with Ferst Readers through the Early Learning Coalition in several other North Florida counties and loved the program so much she wanted children in St. Augustine to have the same opportunity. She invited Michelle Maddox, Regional Program Coordinator for Ferst Readers, to come and speak to the Kiwanis Club about the Ferst Readers Program. Then Joan presented the program to the Sertoma Club. Both groups were so excited about the program, they raised the funding to sponsor the entire center in a few short months!

 

Ferst Readers is a 501C(3) which has been providing age-appropriate books and literacy resources monthly to children for almost 20 years at no cost to the families in participating communities. For now, in St. Johns County, the Ferst Readers program is a Partnership Action Team (PAT), which means only children enrolled in the Brandts Day Care Center will receive Ferst Readers books each month. The Ferst Foundation would like to expand to reach more children in St. Johns.  

 

Any group of children can be sponsored by an organization or business. Accompanying each book will be the parent engagement newsletter, Leap Into Books, which provides relevant questions, important vocabulary and activities related to the book to help parents read with their child. It also is a community connection piece which will provide donor/sponsor spotlights and local events to inform the parents of special activities they can attend with their families. Each classroom at the Brandts Center will also receive a book and newsletter to build their classroom libraries and create excitement before the children take their books home.

 

For more information about being a volunteer with these programs, contact Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Outreach Manager at 904-342-2267 ext. 202 or at jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org.

 

For more information about the Ferst Readers program visit their website: www.ferstreaders.org. To get involved with the St. Augustine Sertoma Club visit: www.saintaugustinesertoma.org or the Kiwanis Club of St. Augustine visit: www.kiwanisofstaugustine.com.

 

Additionally, the ELC of North Florida provides child care assistance to families who meet certain income requirements and who are working or going back to school. This school readiness program is designed to increase a child’s chance of achieving future educational success. The ELC also administers and manages Florida’s FREE VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds).

 

For more information about the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and its other programs and services, please visit, www.elcnorthflorida.org or call 904-342-2267.

 

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

Ferst Foundation

Members of both the Sertoma and Kiwanis Club of St. Augustine are pictured with the children of Brandts Child Care Center holding up their first book from the Ferst Foundation on June 13, 2019.

Helping Hands Newsletter is Out for June!

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Scroll below to read our Helping Hands Newsletter for June!

 

Or download here. 

 

 

Download (PDF, 2.17MB)

ELC’s 2019 Legislative Priority Statement

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Our legislative priority is to maximize early learning investments through implementation of professionally accepted quality standards, pay for perormance and age-appropriate child assessment.

Download a PDF of our Legislative Priority flyer by clicking here.

National Provider Appreciation Day is May 10

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Provider Appreciation Day is May 10. Please visit our Facebook page to nominate a provider: 
Rules on Facebook:
1. Like post.
2. Share post.
3. Comment, “Thank You (Name of Child Care Provider)” and tell us why you appreciate them!
4. Include the #ProviderApreciationDay hashtag.

Review our flyer below: 

#ProviderAppreciationDay