Archive for Media Release – Page 2

[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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[PRESS RELEASE] Local Coalition’s Book Bag Project Seeks Volunteers

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., December 8, 2016 – Every fall and spring season, the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) host a book-bag distribution for both three and four-year-old children in Putnam, St. Johns, Clay, Bradford, Baker and Nassau counties.

In 2016, more than 1000 book bags were distributed to local child care and preschool classrooms. Each bag consisted of 10 age-appropriate books as well as information for parents about the importance of reading to children.

The bags were delivered to the children by ELC volunteers, ELC Early Outreach Manager Joan Whitson and various children’s book characters. This year’s characters included Eric Litwin’s Pete the Cat and Curious George.

“At ELC, we want to provide books for every child, especially those from families with lower incomes so they all can have the same advantages that reading brings,” Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Outreach Manager said.

Studies show children who are read to at an early age is the single biggest factor in improved school readiness scores and vocabulary in young children. ELC funds this program through grants, book donations and donations from local civic groups.

ELC welcomes groups to conduct book drives for them. The books need to be pre-school age appropriate. To help support this program contact Joan Whitson at 904-342-2267 or jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org.

 

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Curious George and ELC of North Florida volunteers deliver book bags to children at God’s Little Creations Learning Center in Palatka.

Curious George and ELC of North Florida volunteers deliver book bags to children at God’s Little Creations Learning Center in Palatka.

Pete the Cat and Joan Whitson, ELC of North Florida Early Literacy Outreach Manager, read books from the book bag project to hildren at Seaside School in St. Augustine.

Pete the Cat and Joan Whitson, ELC of North Florida Early Literacy Outreach Manager, read books from the book bag project to hildren at Seaside School in St. Augustine.

Special guest Pete the Cat and Joan Whitson, ELC of North Florida Outreach Manager, read books from the book bag project to the children at Miss Kate’s Preschool in Fernandina Beach.

Special guest Pete the Cat and Joan Whitson, ELC of North Florida Outreach Manager, read books from the book bag project to the children at Miss Kate’s Preschool in Fernandina Beach.

ELC reading volunteer Sara Pines and special guest Curious George read books from the book bag project to children at Green Gables Learning Center in Palatka.

ELC reading volunteer Sara Pines and special guest Curious George read books from the book bag project to children at Green Gables Learning Center in Palatka.

[PRESS RELEASE] Nassau Nonprofits Partner to Provide Preschoolers New Books

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[PRESS RELEASE] TD Charitable Foundation Supports the ELC North Fla. with Donation

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For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Coordinator, Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

TD Charitable Foundation Supports the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida with Donation

August 5, 2016 – St. Augustine, FL – The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank ® , recently donated a total of $2,500 to the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) as part of the foundation’s commitment to giving back to the community.

ELC manages and evaluates early child care and education programs through a quality school readiness delivery system in Clay, Nassau, Baker, Bradford, Putnam and St. Johns counties. The funds from the TD Charitable Foundation will be used towards our Three Year Old Book Bag Project.

“We are thrilled to have the TD Charitable Foundation support ELC for the 3rd year with such a generous donation. Watching the kids’ faces light up when they receive their bag filled with books is priceless,” said ELC’s Early Literacy Coordinator Joan Whitson.

A staunch commitment to active involvement in the local community is a vital element of the TD Bank philosophy. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank ® and the TD Charitable Foundation provide support to affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and environmental initiatives, many of which focus on improving the welfare of children and families.

About the TD Charitable Foundation

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank N.A., which operates as TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank ® , and is one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The Foundation’s mission is to serve the individuals, families and businesses in all the communities where TD Bank operates, having made more than $157 million in charitable donations since its inception in 2002. The Foundation’s areas of focus are affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and the environment.

More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including an online grant application, is available at www.TDBank.com.

About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank ® TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth ® , and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD”. To learn more, visit www.td.com.

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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

 

[PRESS RELEASE] ELC and Sykes Farm Continue Annual Early Literacy Event

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VPK Children from Roots & Wings Preschool in St. Augustine, show off their new fall visors while they hold their free "Spookley" book they received.

VPK Children from Roots & Wings Preschool in St. Augustine, show off their new fall visors while they hold their free “Spookley” book they received.

 

ELC and Sykes Farm Continue Annual Early Literacy Event

 

ELKTON, Fla., October 16, 2015- The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) hosted their annual early literacy-fall event at Sykes Farms in Elkton, on October 12 and October 13, 2015.

The Sykes Farm field trip included two special literacy corn mazes based on the books “Spookley the Square Pumpkin” and “Jack and the Cornstalk”.

The venue held special events throughout the morning, including hay rides through pumpkin patches, petting zoo, an up close and personal look at farm animals, play ground with corn box, tube slide and opportunities to  jump on their gigantic tractor tires as well as an oversized corn popper (large jumping pillow).

Throughout both days, ELC staff and volunteers were on-hand and provided extra craft activities and handed out copies of the book “Spookley” to every child who attended. Child care providers also received a bagful of assorted “Spookley” books and other fall-related books.

“I am so impressed with the emphasis on literacy and farm education that Sykes Farms introduces to young children.,” Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Coordinator said.

Twenty-nine preschools attended for a total of 480 children.

ELC will also be hosting a similar event at the Amazing Grace Crop Maze in Green Cove Springs on October 19, 2015.

For more information concerning the upcoming event as well as other future early literacy events, please contact Joan Whitson at 904-342-2267 orjwhitson@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

[PRESS RELEASE] ELC Seeks Volunteer Readers for Reading Pals Program

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Volunteer reading pal Mary Ellen Large reads the book "Mixed up Chameleon" to her preschool class at Sea Side School in St. Augustine.

Volunteer reading pal Mary Ellen Large reads the book “Mixed up Chameleon” to her preschool class at Sea Side School in St. Augustine.

 

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., August 13, 2015- The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) are seeking new volunteer reading pals to continue growth for their Reading Pals program.

Volunteer Reading Pals are matched up with local preschool centers where they read once a week to children.

Reading Pals volunteers will 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.

Training for the Reading Pals program will be held on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the St. Augustine Record Building located 1 News Place, St. Augustine, FL 32086.

“It makes my day when I walk into the classroom and the children cheer ‘It’s the book lady,’” volunteer Reading Pal, Ellen Prest said.

Studies show that the best opportunity to influence our children’s lifetime 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.

To register or for more information about this training, contact Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Coordinator at 904-342-2267 or email jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org or Cheryl Freeman at Cheryl.Freeman@stjohns.k12.fl.us.

 

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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

[PRESS RELEASE] Successful Reading Program Seeks Volunteers in Clay County

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Volunteer Reading Pal Erika Bauserman reads a Dora the Explorer book to her weekly group of preschoolers at Brandts Child Care in St. Augustine.

Volunteer Reading Pal Erika Bauserman reads a Dora the Explorer book to her weekly group of preschoolers at Brandts Child Care in St. Augustine.

ORANGE PARK, Fla., August 18, 2014 – The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) is expanding its volunteer reading program into Clay County and is currently seeking volunteer Reading Pals.

Reading Pals go into local child-care centers and VPK classrooms on a weekly basis for an hour to read to small groups of children. This program is currently running in St. Johns and Putnam Counties with 45 volunteers reading in 30 different centers.

Studies have shown that the best opportunity to influence our children’s lifetime learning is before kindergarten when their most rapid period of brain growth occurs. Reading one-on-one to children sets the groundwork for their future ability to read and learn. Through the volunteer Reading Pals program, many students are now receiving the personal attention they need.

“I am very excited that this program is now expanding into Clay County,” said Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Coordinator of ELC. “We have 15 centers that are just waiting to receive volunteers who a passion and love for reading to young children.”
The ELC is holding a mandatory information/training class on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 between 10:00 a.m. and Noon at the Career Source office building, located at 1845 Town Center Blvd. suite 150 in Orange Park. Free background screenings will also be provided.

To register for this session or to find out more information about this program, contact Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Coordinator at 904-342-2267 or jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org.

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[Press Release] Free Family Concert Featuring Jack Hartmann

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PALATKA, Fla., September 12, 2012 — The Early Learning Coalition (ELC) is sponsoring a free community concert on Saturday, September 22, 2012. The concert will feature children’s singer Jack Hartmann, with special guest Elmo from Sesame Street.

Hartmann has written and recorded more than 700 educational children’s songs as well as a children’s book titled “Over the Ocean.” More recently, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, University of Florida.

The concert, geared for families with children aged two through eight, will be held at Beasley Middle School auditorium at 2 p.m. Each family will also receive a complimentary Jack Hartmann CD. Associates of the ELC will be present at the event and encourage families to donate any new or slightly used pre-school age-appropriate books to benefit less privileged children.

Beasley Middle school is located at 1100 South 18th Street, Palatka, Fla.

For more information, contact Joan Whitson at jwhitson@elcpsj.org or call 904-819-3544. To learn more about Jack Hartmann, please visit www.jackhartmann.com. To download concert information as a flyer, click here: Hartmann_Concert_Flyer

To download high-resolution photos of Jack Hartmann, click here or here.

 

CONTACT:

Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Coordinator

904-819-3544

jwhitson@elcpsj.org

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NEWS RELEASE: Clifford the Big Red Dog Brings Christmas to 600 Local Children

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Clifford the Big Red Dog and volunteer Murrell Weissinger delivered books to 20 children at Little Tots Child Care Center in St. Augustine, Dec. 6, 2011.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – PUTNAM AND ST. JOHNS COUNTIES, Fla., Dec. 8, 2011 – More than 600 local 3-year-olds received an early Christmas gift from Clifford the Big Red Dog and his friends at the Early Learning Coalition of Putnam and St. Johns Counties.

The ELC has just wrapped up its first ever book bag project specifically for 3-year-olds. Twenty six childcare centers, across Putnam and St. Johns County, were visited by Clifford the Big Red Dog and volunteers from the ELC. These centers were given book bags filled with a dozen books along with informative handouts for parents on the importance of reading.

“These three-year-olds and their families will have a dozen books to begin reading during a time when families are together,” said ELC Coordinator Joan Whitson. “We hope the family will help these young children make reading an important part of their lives.”

This project was a community effort with monetary and book donations from: St. Augustine Kiwanis Club, Sunrise Rotary in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra Rotary, Sunrise Rotary in Palatka and Hastings Rotary Club. Additionally, a fundraising event, featuring Comedian Danny Johnson, was held at Jackie Knights Comedy Club in St. Augustine that raised $2,200 toward the project.

“Reading to children at an early age is crucial to their having the skills to be ready for school,” said ELC Fundraising Committee Chair Maxine McChesney. “This is going to be a yearly program for the ELC.”

Ongoing donations to the ELC are greatly appreciated. It costs $25 for one bag of books.  Visit elcpsj.org to donate or to find out more about the services of the Early Learning Coalition.  Become a fan of the ELC on facebook at facbook.com/elcpsj.

 

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Contact: Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Coordinator, jwhitson@elcpsj.org, 904-819-3544