Archive for events – Page 2

ELC of North Florida Announce 2017 Preschool Teacher of the Year

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ELC of North Florida Announce 2017 Preschool Teacher of the Year

2017 Preschool Teacher of the Year winner Margie Tedder pictured with special guest Marshall from Paw Patrol; Toni Mitchell, Village Academy Director; Dr. Teri DeLucca, Vice President of Operations of Village Academy and Joan Whitson, Early Learning Coalition of North Florida Outreach Manager, during prize patrol visit, December 20, 2017.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., January 5, 2018 – 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 third annual Preschool Teacher of the Year Award. 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 this 19-year-old nonprofit organization and this ELC works with their partner, Episcopal Children’s Services to assure our providers have coaches, funds and often, volunteers for their learning environments.

This year’s Preschool Teachers of the Year is Margie Tedder, a VPK teacher at Village Academy in St. Augustine.

Tedder was honored by a surprise prize patrol on December 20, 2017, with balloons and flowers. She will be recognized at the Early Educators Conference on January 27, 2018 at the Thrasher-Horne Center in Orange Park. Tedder will be awarded a $500 cash prize from Kaplan Early Learning, Inc., the 2017 Teacher of the Year Sponsor.

Tedder began teaching 33 years ago. Her involvement at Village Academy includes teaching, directing the summer camp program and serving as assistant director of the school. Her passion lies in teaching and in her strong love for her students, according to Tedder.

“Children who have had Tedder 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. “Many of her former students, now grown, all remember Ms. Margie.”

“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.

Worms! We dig this activity.

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We dig this activity! Made by volunteer Erika Bauserman who is a reading pal at Brandts Child care in St. Augustine. to view and to subscribe to our channel: https://youtu.be/8yQUZi_VjY4 Learn more about how you can volunteer!

The Cat in the Hat Visits Sugar N Spice Daycare Center

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Clay County’s own Sugar N Spice daycare center enjoyed a special story-time from the Cat in the Hat and volunteer Reading Pals on Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

Video was taken of the special day and can be found below or by clicking the link here to view and to subscribe to our channel: https://youtu.be/8yQUZi_VjY4

[PRESS RELEASE] ELC Hosts Week of Early Literacy Featuring Dr. Seuss

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ELC volunteers Ginny Dozier and Erika Bauserman with special guest the Cat in the Hat reading the book “Ten Apples Up on Top” by Dr. Seuss to children at Brighton Day Academy in St. Augustine

ELC volunteers Ginny Dozier and Erika Bauserman with special guest the Cat in the Hat reading the book “Ten Apples Up on Top” by Dr. Seuss to children at Brighton Day Academy in St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., March 13, 2017 – Every year, the Early Learning coalition of North Florida (ELC) celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a weeklong event to help promote early literacy.
This year, between February 27 and March 3, ELC hosted seven Dr. Seuss-themed literacy programs in local childcare centers.

The program consisted of a story time with special guest the “Cat in the Hat,” followed by other Dr. Seuss related activities and every child in attendance received a free Dr. Seuss book. Every daycare center also received a bag of assorted Dr. Seuss books and activities for their classroom.

The programs, conducted by ELC staff and volunteers, were planned at ELC’s Early Educators Conference in January, in which the centers were chose by a random drawing.

“Celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday by providing these programs is always a highlight for me,” said Joan Whitson, ELC’s Early Literacy Outreach Manager. “His books are timeless and it is fun to see the young generation as excited about his books as the older generation.”

The seven aforementioned centers included: Sugar N Spice and First Kids Learning Center in Clay County; Children’s Academy of Interlachen and Stay N Play in Putnam County; and Bartram Academy, Brighton Day Academy and Castlebrook Learning Center in St. Johns County.

To become a volunteer Reading Pal, or learn about upcoming early literacy events, call Joan Whitson at 904-342-2267 or email at jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org.

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Dates for ELC Days at Sykes Farms and Amazing Grace Crop Maze (October 2016)

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SpookleyFe

ELC early literacy events for October 2016 are described below!

At both events, all children in attendance will receive a FREE “Spookley the Square Pumpkin” book as a gift and each classroom will receive a bag of assorted Spookley and other fall-related books. ELC staff and volunteers will be on-hand to provide an extra fun craft activity for the kids. 

Sykes Farms Early Literacy Event

ELC is sponsoring TWO fall field trips at Sykes Farms in Elkton, Florida- October 3 and 4, 2016 between 9a.m. and Noon.

Admission is only $5.00 for all children and chaperones (free admission for teachers).

 

The activities include: a trip through the Spookley the Square Pumpkin kiddie maze, hayride through pumpkin patch and sunflower field, visit with Uncle Buck’s farm animals, jump on the “corn popper”, the huge jumping pillow, playground featuring tube slide, corn box, tractor tires, spider web and more.

For booking information, call 904-692-1084 or go to http://www.sycofarms.com/index.php/field-trips/ and complete the field trip request form. Don’t forget to mention ELC when booking!

ELC Days at Amazing Grace Crop Maze in Green Cove Springs, Fla. (Lake Asbury area)

 

ELC is hosting another early literacy event at Amazing Grace Crop Maze on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, from 10 a.m. through 1 p.m.

The cost is $8.00 for all children and chaperones (teachers are free)

The day includes: a mini pumpkin for each child, a hayride which includes visiting farm animals, Spookley the Square Pumpkin story time, crop maze science adventure, amazing agriculture lesion which includes how food gets from the farm to your fridge, jump on the new attraction “The Jump Pad” and playground featuring rat rollers, mini-hay bale maze, duck races and corn hole games.

For booking information, email info@agcropmaze.comInclude school name, contact email and phone number, approximate number of children and chaperones. Please mention the ELC when booking. Their office will contact you to confirm.

 

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida
 

[PRESS RELEASE] Volunteer “Reading Pals” Program Brings Lasting Benefits to Local Children

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Volunteer “Reading Pals” Program Brings Lasting Benefits to Local Children

The advantages to reading to children from ages birth through five years is substantial. This is why the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) continues to expand its Reading Pals program in all six counties it serves (Baker, Bradford, Clay, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns). Reading Pals are trained by ELC and then connected with local preschool child care centers and VPK classrooms to simply read on a weekly basis to small groups of children.

Of the advantages of reading to this formative age group, one major benefit of reading to children is building vocabulary. Studies show that the best opportunity to influence our children’s lifetime of learning is before kindergarten when their most rapid period of brain growth occurs. Instilling an early love for reading is crucial to children’s future success in school.

Children also learn how to better communicate with others through reading.  The interaction between characters in the book teaches valuable lessons of which the children can relate. Discussions afterward between children and their Reading Pal also builds their communication skills and memory retention.

Finally, it provides preschoolers with a longer attention span. It fosters an environment where the children are sitting still and listening for a period of time and then asking related questions. As a result, children are better prepared for their elementary school years, which will carry on into adulthood.

For the safety of the children, all Reading Pal applicants will sign an affidavit of good moral character and will also go through a background screening. Once the volunteers have successfully completed the requirements, ELC assists the volunteers through a classroom training to ensure future success with the children.

Not only do children benefit through the Reading Pals program, but so do the volunteers in many ways.

Through the training, Reading Pals learn the following skills: how to choose age-appropriate books; child development, including the attention span of preschoolers; presenting books to preschoolers and promoting early literacy through phonetically reading.

Volunteers become role models who directly impact the children through the program. Children are constantly monitoring the actions of adults, so volunteers will be able to see this first-hand when children begin to read from left-to-right and turn pages of books just like their Reading Pal.

Reading Pals who volunteer their time may ultimately feel they have more time of their own as well. Wharton professor Cassie Mogilner recently reported to the Harvard Business Review that her research showed those who volunteer their time feel they actually have more of it; similar to those who donate their wealth feel to have more wealth of their own.

Finally, as Reading Pals, volunteers have the opportunity to make their time near and dear to their own hearts and have fun.

For example, Clay county Reading Pal Ellen Prest has been learning how to play the cello. Prest is a seasoned Reading Pal and knew this elegant instrument would win over the hearts of the children so she brought it in to perform for them. Prest also gave every child a turn to play the instrument.

“It’s so much fun to walk into the classroom and hear the children cheer, ‘It’s the book lady!’ on a weekly basis,” Ellen Prest said.

If desired, ELC also encourages volunteers to dress up as characters from the specific book they are reading as well as use props and other creative ways to enhance the story.

For example, volunteers quite often share personal photos with the children of their pets or of a recent vacation.  These teachable moments enlarge the scope of a child’s world, bringing in new and interesting experiences they may not have had yet in their young lives.

“We encourage Reading Pals to add their own personal experiences,” ELC’s Early Literacy Coordinator Joan Whitson said.  “Just last week, Crescent City volunteers, Gerry and Kathy Miller read a book about worms and brought in fake worms, and real worms for the daring, so the children could get a visual aid.”

Teachers are supportive of Reading Pals in their classrooms because it increases the children’s love for books.

“I so appreciate your weekly reading pal volunteer,” said Director of Elkton Academy Erin Kochanski.  “She lights up the room when she arrives and the kids so look forward to her coming each week. Every day they ask, is this the day Miss Julia will be coming?  I have really seen the kids love for books increase since Miss Julia has been coming.”

Applications for Reading Pals can be found under the “Volunteer” tab of ELC’s website: www.elcnorthflorida.org. Contact Joan Whitson for more information at jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org or 904-342-2267. ELC coordinates services in North Florida for children birth to five years of age. Visit www.elcnorthflorida.org to learn more.

 

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

ELC Teams Up with Local Childcare Centers for Read Across America Event

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., March 2, 2016– Students in the North Florida region joined millions of their peers across the country to celebrate the annual National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day on Tuesday, March 2, 2016.

NEA’s Read Across America Day celebrates both Dr. Seuss’s birthday and the joys of reading with more than 45 million readers, both young and old, through reading books.

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) awarded local childcare centers with a program hosted by the Cat in the Hat and all children and teachers who attended were given a free Dr. Seuss book to take home or back to the classroom. ELC’s goal is to help build a nation of readers.

The Seuss character assisted with storytelling and various Seuss-themed activities, including: Ancient City Baptist, Village Academy South and Anastasia Baptist Learning Center in St. Augustine; Elkton Academy in Elkton; Palatka’s Peniel Baptist Academy; Wonderworks and The Children’s Corner of Orange Park; and Sharing Tree Preschool in Fleming Island.


For more information about upcoming early literacy events, please contact Joan Whitson at jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org.  For more information about NEA’s Read Across America, visit www.nea.org/readacross.

 

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

ELC Hosts Ninth Annual Reading with Ronald McDonald Event

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., March 2, 2016– Throughout February of  2016, the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) and Episcopal Children’s Services (ECS) held a series of six Reading with Ronald programs for preschoolers in Clay, Nassau, Baker, Bradford, Putnam and St. Johns counties.

Ronald’s special program included storytelling and magic tricks, with a specific goal to inspire children to read.  At the end of the program, ELC also provided a free book to all children who attended.

These programs were in celebration of the statewide children’s movement culminating with Children’s Week at the Capitol in Tallahassee, which took place from January 24 through January 29, 2016.

“This is the ninth consecutive year that we have hosted the Reading with Ronald program, and this year was a huge success with a total of 800 children in attendance,” ELC’s Early Literacy Coordinator Joan Whitson said.

The reading event couldn’t have taken place without the support of local McDonald’s franchise owners, including: Bill and Drew VanZante of St. Johns county, Mike Potapow of Bradford county, Tom and Diana Lisante of Nassau county, Jackie Bunting of Baker county, Karen King of Clay county and Mike Potapow who franchises in both Bradford and Putnam counties.

Children’s week raises awareness of the importance of early education issues in the legislature. Childcare centers and preschool classrooms come from all over the county for a field trip for these programs.

For more information about upcoming early literacy events, please contact Joan Whitson at jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org or visit www.elcnorthflorida.org.

 

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

[PRESS RELEASE] Coalition Hosts Third Annual Early Educators Conference

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Jennifer Daniels, keynote speaker getting ready to perform “Sing and Dance in your Polka Dot Pants” to the conference crowd.

Jennifer Daniels, keynote speaker getting ready to perform “Sing and Dance in your Polka Dot Pants” to the conference crowd.

ORANGE PARK, Fla., Feb. 1, 2016- The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) hosted its third-annual Early Educators Conference Saturday, January 23, 2016 at the Thrasher-Horne Center, focusing primarily on early learning teacher education.

Every year, the conference goal is to provide continued training to early educators and inspire them to be quality teachers and care takers. All attendees  received continuing education credits for attending.

Topics at the conference included: implementing sign language into the preschool classroom; tips on building a successful math program; music and movement with an emphasis on sensory processing issues; picking age appropriate books; organization skills and the wonder years, and a session on using digital cameras and smartphones in the classroom. 

Jennifer Daniels, who works closely with Eric Litwin, the author of the best-selling Pete the Cat picture book, was the keynote speaker. She inspired the audience and got them moving by performing “Sing and Dance in your Polka Dot Pants.”

“We had 300 people attending this year and almost everyone was decked out in their polka dot attire to go along with the conference theme,” said Early Literacy Coordinator Joan Whitson.

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s (ELC) 2015 Preschool Teacher of the Year award was presented to Zoe Messer from Ivy League Academy in Fleming Island, by ELC board member Brian Graham and Teacher of the Year sponsor representative Brian Williams, Kaplan Early Learning Company.

All attendees came from one of the six counties ELC North Florida covers, including Clay, Nassau, Baker, Bradford, Putnam and St. Johns.

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida's (ELC) 2015 Preschool Teacher of the Year presented to Zoe Messer at the Early Educator's Conference, Thrasher-Horne Center January 23, 2016 by ELC board member Brian Graham and Teacher of the Year sponsor representative Brian Williams, Kaplan Early Learning Company.

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s (ELC) 2015 Preschool Teacher of the Year presented to Zoe Messer at the Early Educator’s Conference, Thrasher-Horne Center January 23, 2016 by ELC board member Brian Graham and Teacher of the Year sponsor representative Brian Williams, Kaplan Early Learning Company.

Kaplan Early Learning Company held a special presentation to award the 2015 preschool teacher of the year Zoe Messer. Messer, from Ivy League Academy in Fleming Island, received a prize package valued at $1,000. 

“The ELC of North Florida would like to thank all of the early educators who dedicate their days to teaching our youngest citizens,” said Dawn Bell, CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida.  

For more information about upcoming early literacy events, please contact Joan Whitson at jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org.

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

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

 

More than 5,000 Local Children Read for the Record at Learning Coalition’s Literacy Event

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The VPK class at Mosely Elementary School in Putnam County enjoys “Not Norman: A Goldfish Story” by Kelly Bennett

The VPK class at Mosely Elementary School in Putnam County enjoys “Not Norman: A Goldfish Story” by Kelly Bennett.

"Not Norman" activities at Mosely Elementary.

Children at Mosely Elementary School work on class activities based on the book, “Not Norman,” by author Kelly Bennett.

More than 5,000 Local Children Read for the Record at Learning Coaltion’s Literacy Event

PALATKA, Fla., October 23, 1015- During the morning hours of October 22, 2015, preschools across Putnam County participated in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, a nationwide program that emphasizes to students that there is never a bad time to pick up a good book.

The purpose of the program is to get as many people as possible simultaneously read a specific book at a specific time. This year’s selected book was “Not Norman: A Goldfish Story” by Kelly Bennett.

“The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) is extremely proud to be a part of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record,” said, Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Coordinator for ELC.

Putnam County had 13 centers participate along with all 17 of the VPK classrooms within the Putnam County School District.

A total of 5,132 children from ELC’s six-county coverage participated in the event, in hopes of beating last years record.

For more information please visit our website at www.elcnorthflorida.org.

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

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida