Archive for reading

Early Learning Coalition Needs Volunteer Readers for Clay County Reading Pals Program

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Early Learning Coalition Needs Volunteer Readers for Clay County Reading Pals Program

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida volunteer reader Karen Cercy dressed up as a clown for Halloween with her class at Backpack University in Orange Park, Fla.

ORANGE PARK, Fla., November 20, 2018-  The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) is 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 or bi-weekly to groups of children.  The ELC has a specific need currently for more volunteers in Clay County.

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.  

“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.

The ELC has a well-stocked lending library with books and literacy materials for the volunteers to check out and use.  Readers are also able to create relationships with the children through their consistent appearances. Volunteers can read solo or they can share their assignment with a partner.  The ELC has several husband and wife teams as well. Civic organizations have also adopted a classroom and members take turns reading.

For more information about becoming a reading volunteer contact Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Outreach Manager at 904-342-2267 x 202 or email jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org

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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[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

Read for the Record 2018: Maybe Something Beautiful

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Maybe Something BeautifulRead for the Record, presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, is the annual event when millions of individuals come together to celebrate literacy by breaking the world record for reading the same book on the same day.

On October 25, adults and children across the United States will read the official campaign book, “Maybe Something Beautiful” by Isabel Campoy. Find out more about this campaign by visiting: http://www.jstart.org/campaigns/read-for-the-record

The ELC of North Florida is providing every center in Clay, Nassau, Baker, Bradford, Putnam and St. Johns with a FREE copy of “Maybe Something Beautiful” along with a packet of activities to do along with the book. (There is a 2 book limit per school or Family Child Care.) For School Districts ELC can provide 1 book for each pre-K/VPK class.

To get your center’s book and packet you must RSVP by phone or email by Tuesday, October 9th to Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Coordinator at 904-342-2267 ext. 202 or jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org. A member of ECS or ELC staff will personally bring it to you or it will be mailed. In your email include your center’s name, contact person, address, phone, email, number of books and the number of children to whom you will be reading.

Joan Whitson will be submitting the totals from all of our centers to Read for the Record after the event.

Please send photos of your reading event to jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org so ELC can post them on our ELC Facebook page. The activities you will receive and reading guide can also be downloaded by visiting: www.jumpstart.org

Included in the packet we give you will be a World Record Reading Certificate for you to copy and give to each child. They can be downloaded from the campaigns/events link above..

[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
 

[WJCT NEWS] Wanted: Reading Pals to Make Books Come Alive

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Reading Pals WJCT

by Allie George [WJCT]

 

With a new school year just weeks away, North Florida’s Reading Pals are seeking volunteers to help introduce the area’s youngest students to reading. Read more: WJCT Wanted: Reading Pals

[ST. AUGUSTINE RECORD] Can You Help Open A Child’s Mind?

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We here at The Record have an admittedly vested interest in folks who read. So, with that disclaimer aside, we’d like to take a moment to talk about reading — particularly as it applies to little ones.

An employee shared a story a week or so ago about a family member in her mid-60s who suffered a bad fall. She was knocked unconscious. She subsequently began to suffer memory loss, headaches and shaking. Turns out she had suffered a Grade 3 concussion — the most critical level. She was ordered to stay home for six weeks, minimum, and was not to use a computer, watch television or to read anything.

Her 6-year-old granddaughter is a bright child, but was reading two grade levels below where she should be.

The grandmother had the child come over after school and read to her. First, just the mail; as the weeks went on, books. After the six weeks, Abby was retested at school and had nearly reached her expected level of competency. Six weeks of reading trumped years of parental laziness. Bonus — Abby likes to read now. She’s proud. She shows it off.

Being in the business we’re in we’ve seen hundreds of stories about locals who have overcome severe challenges — crippling accidents, horrible injuries, etc. — where they’ve come out on top.

But it’s difficult to imagine how anyone these days can fully function in society or completely overcome the inability to read.

What we sometimes forget is reading always begins, for children, by listening. They can’t pick up a book and read it themselves, but reading to a young child develops what the scientific folks call “word-sound awareness.” It’s the most potent predictor of reading success down the road. Reading aloud to children is proven to jump-start language development even before they begin talking.

Reading to a child is also among the better activities available to stimulate cognitive skills, curiosity and motivation.

Reading aloud to a child is an important job. It can also be a nice thing to do.

The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program need local volunteers for their Reading Pals programs. ELC Reading Pals are matched with preschool centers. The RSVP program targets more at-risk groups in Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten and Head Start classrooms.

Read more at: St. Augustine Record

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] 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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