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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

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

The Cat in the Hat is on the Loose in North Florida for Early Literacy

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MEDIA: PLEASE SEE IMAGE LINKS AND CAPTIONS BELOW RELEASE FOR YOUR PARTICULAR COUNTY

The Cat in the Hat is on the Loose in North Florida for Early Literacy

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., March 14, 2019 –  Watch out! The Cat in the Hat is on the loose in North Florida during the month of March. In celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2, the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) held a drawing at its Annual Early Educators Conference for several of its counties’ child care centers and preschools to receive a Dr. Seuss program in their school. The program, put on by ELC staff and volunteers, consists of a story time with special guest “The Cat in the Hat” followed by various activities relating to Dr. Seuss books. Each child received a free copy of the book “Ten Apples Up on Top”. Teachers received a resource bag filled with a set of eight Dr. Seuss books and other related teaching materials.

This year’s winners include: A Child’s Castle in Palatka, Orange Park Methodist Preschool, First Class Learning Center in Orange Park, Brighton Day Academy and Memorial Lutheran Preschool in St. Augustine.

“Promoting early literacy is a priority mission for us at the Early Learning Coalition” says Joan Whitson, ELC’s Literacy Outreach Manager. “Getting children excited about books and making sure that all children have them can make all the difference in their success in school all during their lives.”  

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). To learn more, visit:  www.elcnorthflorida.org for more information.

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

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Image/Caption: St. Johns County  

VPK kids at Memorial Lutheran Preschool in St. Augustine holding their books given to them by “The Cat in the Cat”  and the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida outreach team.

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Image/Caption: Clay County/North Florida

VPK kids at First Class Learning Center in Orange Park holding their books given to them by “The Cat in the Hat” and the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida outreach team.

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Images (2)/Caption: Putnam County

The Cat in the Hat and Early Learning Coalition of North Florida volunteer Helen Miur sharing hugs with children at A Child’s Castle Learning Center in Palatka.

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida volunteer Ginny Levito having fun with the book Ten Apples Up on Top seeing how many apples the children can balance on their head at A Child’s Castle Learning Center in Palatka.  

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

[NEWS RELEASE] ELC of North Florida Announces 2018 Preschool Teacher of the Year

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Teacher of Year

The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s Mascot Elsie surprises Teacher of the Year 2018 Angie Picket, Sugar and Spice Preschool, Orange Park, Fla., with award on January 9. 2019.

ELC of North Florida Announces 2018 Preschool Teacher of the Year

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., February 19, 2019 –   Whether exceptional teachers are born or made is not the question. What matters is that by the time they make it into the classroom, they are filled with the necessary passion, drive, education and genuine love of teaching children that students need to succeed.

This critical need for exceptional teachers is why the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) is proud to present its winner of the fourth annual Preschool Teacher of the Year Award to Angie Picket. Picket is a VPK teacher at Sugar and Spice Preschool in Orange Park, Fla.

The six-countywide preschool teacher recognition is to acknowledge the creativity and hard work of those who teach children at the most fundamental time in their lives. 

“These are the kind of teachers that children will remember for the rest of their lives,” said Dawn Bell, ELC CEO. Bell is the leader of the 20-year-old nonprofit organization and the North Florida organization works with their partner, Episcopal Children’s Services to assure our providers have coaches, funds and often, volunteers for their learning environments.  

Picket was honored by a surprise prize patrol on January, 9th, 2019 with balloons and flowers. She was also recognized at the ELC of North Florida’s Early Educators Conference held on January 26, 2019 at the Thrasher-Horne Center in Orange Park.  Picket was awarded a $500 cash prize from Kaplan Early Learning, Inc., the 2018 Teacher of the Year Sponsor.

Picket is the educational director as well as lead Pre-K teacher at Sugar and Spice. She has a bachelor of Arts degree in education as well as a director’s credential degree. Picket started her teaching career as an elementary teacher. Then, building on the legacy of her mother, who founded Sugar and Spice, Picket made the transition to early education.

“Children who have had Picket as a teacher are well-prepared for kindergarten and leave with the foundational school readiness skills that are necessary for success in kindergarten,” said Bell.  

“Teaching is a special calling, and ELC is excited to be able to recognize preschool teachers who represent the best in the six counties we serve,” Bell continues. “There’s no better job than guiding children down a path of success. Great teachers like these have an incredible impact on our future.” 

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

 

 

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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

Registration Open for Early Educators Conference 2019!

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Early Educators Conference 2019

Saturday, January 26th, 2018 –  9:00 a.m.  – 3:15 p.m.

Register on EVENTBRITE by clicking here.

Thrasher Horne Center in Orange Park, FL

Thrasher-Horne Center
283 College Drive
Orange Park, FL 32065

Conference Speaker is Richard Cohen. Find out more about him by visiting: https://richie4360.wordpress.com/

CEU’s will be provided.

Contact Joan Whitson at jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org for more information.

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

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

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

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PRESS RELEASE

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

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla., November 19, 2018-  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 430 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.

Early Learning Coalition’s staff and volunteers were also on-hand providing an extra craft activity while they handed out free copies of the book “Spookley the Square Pumpkin” by Joe Troiano to each child. 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 Early Learning Coalition always enjoys partnering with Amazing Grace Crop Maze this year,” said ELC’s Early Literacy Outreach Manager Joan Whitson. “The emphasis on literacy and agriculture that Amazing Grace introduced to the children was a great learning experience.”

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

[NEWS RELEASE] Simultaneous Reading Event Held for More Than 6500 Children in Local Counties

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Children from Andromeda Preschool in Orange Park standing proudly in front of the mural they painted to represent the book “Maybe Something Beautiful” for Read for the Record Day, Thursday, October 25, 2018.

Children from Grace Learning Center in St. Augustine proudly showing off their beautiful artwork to represent the book “Maybe Something Beautiful” by Isabel Campoy for Read for the Record Day Thursday, October 25, 2018.

Children from the Pre-K class at Mosely Elementary School in Palatka having fun for Read for the Record Day Thursday, October 25, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Simultaneous Reading Event Held for More Than 6500 Children in Local Counties

AUGUSTINE, Fla., November 9, 2018 – Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) joined Jumpstart, the Pearson Foundation and readers across the country on Thursday, October 25 to celebrate Read for the Record, America’s largest shared reading experience.

Locally, ELC provided a free copy of the the official campaign book “Maybe Something Beautiful” by Isabel Campoy to all their child care providers in Clay, Nassau, Bradford Baker, Putnam and St. Johns counties. The book was read at schools, libraries and countless special events from coast to coast, with many reading the free digital version available at jumpstart.org. Ninety-four providers participated for a total of 6,541 children participating in all local counties.

Launched in 2006, the campaign brings together millions of people to celebrate literacy by breaking the world record for reading the same book on the same day. Last year, Jumpstart broke the world record by reading to 2.5 million children around the world.

“Maybe Something Beautiful” is based on a true story of one little girl in L.A. who made a difference by bringing color to her once drab neighborhood.

“The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida is delighted to be a reading partner for this year’s Read for the Record Day,” said Joan Whitson, ELC’s Early Literacy Outreach Manager. “We support Jumpstart’s mission to help all children in America enter school prepared to succeed.”

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

Early Educators Conference 2019 – Save the Date!

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Saturday, January 26th, 2018 –  9:00 a.m.  – 3:15 p.m.

Thrasher Horne Center in Orange Park, FL

Thrasher-Horne Center
283 College Drive
Orange Park, FL 32065

Conference Speaker is Richard Cohen. Find out more about him by visiting: https://richie4360.wordpress.com/

Registration will begin December 12th, 2018

CEU’s will be provided.

Contact Joan Whitson at jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org for more information.

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

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!

 

Meet the Masters Program Featured

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Please enjoy this edition of St. Johns County’s Superintendent Spotlight featuring our Meet the Masters Program.

Superintendent Spotlight – February 2018