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Ocean Themed Literacy Event at Palatka Preschool is a Splash

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A “splashing” good time was held on Thursday, March 25, 2021 at the Academy of Rising Stars Preschool in Palatka. The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s (ELC) outreach team put on an Ocean themed literacy program which introduces children to the wonders of the ocean world and its many creatures. The children painted sea shell creatures, made sand necklaces and created a squiggly octopus craft. Introducing tactile skills, the preschoolers learned how sand is made and were able to hold and feel many different types of shells while learning about mollusks.  

To end the day, each child received a free book called “Exploring the Ocean” and the classroom received a large bag of teaching resources to further teach the ocean theme to their students.  

ELC offers themed literacy programs to local child care centers all throughout the year with its goal to promote early literacy and the love of reading.  

“The children get so excited about receiving their books and many parents report how much their children shared with them about what they learned during the program,” said ELC’s Outreach Manager Joan Whitson. 

If you are in one of the six counties ELC serves in North Florida (Baker, Bradford, Clay, Nassau, Putnam & St. Johns), and would like a literacy program at your preschool, contact Joan Whitson at 904-342-2267. 

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 we assist in ensuring quality child care for all families, visit us at www.elcnorthflorida.org. Sponsorship by the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and the state of Florida, Office of Early Learning.

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Sponsored by the State of Florida, Office of Early Learning.


ELC Recognizes Leaps & Bounds Preschool for Going the Extra Mile

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ELC would like to recognize Leaps & Bounds Preschool for all the extra care they give to their students right now.

❤️ Providers are taping VPK lessons and sharing the YouTube videos with their parents for the children that are staying at home.

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💙 They are making pick-up packets of work to go along with the VPK lessons.

💛 They are making and sending snack & meals with students who leave early for the day.

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❤️ They are providing care for about 30 kids a day.

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Libbie from Leaps & Bounds expressed how appreciative they are for funding right now for school readiness and VPK and are doing everything they can to keep moving forward.

Thank you for caring for our community because you, like many of the parents you serve are “essential”!

#Covid19UnsungHeroes #ELCsTakeAction

Sponsorship by the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and the state of Florida, Office of Early Learning.

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

Sponsorship by the State of Florida, Office of Early Learning.

ELC Recognizes Sugar N’ Spice Preschool for Amazing Work

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ELC would like to recognize Sugar N’ Spice Preschool for all the amazing things they are doing for students right now.

 

❤️ They have created distance learning packets for toddler – VPK students and update them with new materials every two weeks.

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💙 They are working with parents, teachers and administrators to help their elementary/school-aged students with their distance learning by creating a “computer lab” and a schedule so that each student gets to visit the “lab” twice a day as well as use the computer center during free time.

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💛 To help parents and students with this new learning adventure, they have also created school-aged packets for kindergarten to 6th grade students with supplemental learning materials, all while still giving them opportunities for brain breaks that include; art, science, outside time and cooking projects.

❤️ They are servicing 80- 100 students of “essential” workers while following our state and local officials guidance concerning group size, morning health/fever checks, escorting students to and from their classrooms and frequent sanitizing of classrooms and common areas.

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Angie from Sugar N’ Spice says “It is my hope that we can be a service and show God’s Love to our families and community whether or not their students are here at school or at home. In the end we are all doing our best.”

Thank you for caring for our community because you, like many of the parents you serve are “essential”!

#Covid19UnsungHeroes #ELCsTakeAction

Sponsorship by the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and the state of Florida, Office of Early Learning.

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

Math & Stem Resources Available for Parents

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The Office of Early Learning has shared their Math & Stem Resources for Parents. Enjoy!

Click here to download Math & Stem Resources from the State of Florida’s Office of Early Learning.

Download (PDF, 486KB)

Sponsorship by the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and the state of Florida, Office of Early Learning.

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

 

ELC of North Florida Volunteers Making a Creative Impact

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Image/Caption: Early Learning Coalition of North Florida Volunteer, Erika Bauserman St. Augustine creates videos to connect with preschool children. She is standing in front of the Lighthouse in St. Augustine, Fla. #ELCsTakeAction #Covid19UnsungHeroes

www.elcnorthflorida.org 

Photo Link: https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/lighthouse_erika.jpeg

 

ELC of North Florida Volunteers Making a Creative Impact

 

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., April 14, 2020 – Since preschool and child care centers are following CDC safety recommendations, volunteers are no longer admitted in local preschools for reading time. However, Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) literacy volunteers are finding creative ways to still stay in touch with the children they have been reading to all year. 

One of the creative ways volunteers are still giving back is through the use of digital communication, shared with the preschools. For instance, Volunteer Margo Locke who reads weekly at “A Fun Place to Be” in Northern St. Augustine is reading to children through Facebook videos. The teachers say it is reassuring for the children to see familiar faces like their reading volunteer and to keep to their normal routines as much as possible.  

ELC volunteer Erika Bauserman of St. Augustine, who reads at Brighton Day Academy is now making videos to share with the children. Her first video is called “Where in St. Augustine Am I?” Bauserman traveled around St. Augustine and took pictures of local landmarks giving short facts about each one. Her latest video is called “Compound Words Around Town.” She filmed items that are compound words like, butterfly, flowerpot, motorcycle and woodpecker.  

“The children love the videos and keep asking for more,” said Miss Donna, Brighton’s three and four-year old teacher.

“I miss seeing my kids so much and I want to stay in touch while at the same time teaching them something,” said Bauserman. 

Bauserman’s videos can be viewed at the ELC’s North Florida YouTube playlists page where their early education videos are featured.  https://www.youtube.com/user/ELCPSJ/playlists

It is challenging right now for child care centers and preschools to stay open (See state of child care article: https://elcnorthflorida.org/news-release-florida-governor-deems-child-care-as-an-essential-business-state-of-child-care-services-in-north-florida-during-the-coronavirus/) but it is necessary because they are serving the children of our essential workers and first responders. 

The North Florida coalition is so proud of it’s many volunteers who give of their time so freely to help our youngest citizens according to Literacy Outreach Manager Joan Whitson.  

For more information about volunteering with the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida contact Early Literacy Outreach Manager Joan Whitson at:  jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org. The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s website and facebook page has up-to-date resources for providers and parents in addition to their child care services, school readiness services and VPK programs. Please visit online at www.elcnorthflorida.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/elcnorthflorida.

www.elcnorthflorida.org #ELCsTakeAction #Covid19UnsungHeroes

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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)

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

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)

‘Meet The Masters’ Program Brings Famous Art to Putnam Preschools

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‘Meet The Masters’ Program Brings Famous Art to Putnam Preschools

St. AUGUSTINE, Fla., March 15, 2019 – The famous artist Claude Monet is visiting preschool in Palatka this Spring. This is made possible by The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s (ELC) outreach team who teach preschoolers about the arts and influencers during a day of fun activities. Meet the Masters is one of ELC’s many programs which help foster the lives of children from birth through five years of age.

During Meet the Masters, children experience art through different sensory ways. They might wave colored scarves to the music of Beethoven or march with rhythm sticks to Victor Herbert’s “March of the Toys” from the classic Babes in Toyland. With great enthusiasm, an ELC volunteer dresses up like a famous artist such as Seurat, Monet or Matisse to talk about their character in a French accent.

When the artist is Seurat, famous for pointillism, the book “The Dot” is read about a girl who thinks she cannot draw until she discovers how making dots can turn into artwork. Each child is then given the book “The Dot” as a gift to take home.  

Children then get a chance to create art for themselves. While learning about Rodin, they will make their own sculptures. Or they try their hand at painting in different styles and subjects. Perhaps they will create dot paintings like Seurat, water lily paintings like Monet, sunflowers like Van Gough or a try a collage-technique to represent Matisse.  

Exposing children to the arts at a young age is very important to building their creativity. Learning to paint or play an instrument builds confidence  – an important component to early child development.

The ELC outreach team regularly puts on themed literacy programs in local child care centers and preschool classrooms. The goal of these programs is to expose children to quality literature and to teach important topics that children need to learn.  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

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

Toddler Fest is Here!

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Join us June 2, 2018 at the Palatka Library for this free event with more than 20 organizations, including the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida. Children can participate in crafts and fun activities, including visits from fun characters. Free books will be given to preschoolers and more!