Sign up today to receive your FREE Read for the Record books! October 7th Deadline.

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Sign up today to receive your FREE Read for the Record Books! The deadline is October 7th.

Read for the Record 2021

Read 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 of reading the same book on the same day. On October 28th, adults and children across the United Sates will read the official campaign book, “Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon” by Kat Zhang.  In this sweet and brightly illustrated picture book, Amy Wu must craft a dragon unlike any other to share with her class at school in this unforgettable follow-up to Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao.

Amy loves craft time at school. But when her teacher asks everyone to make their own dragon, Amy feels stuck. Her first dragon has a long, wingless body, stag-like horns, and eagle claws, but her friends don’t think it’s a real dragon. Then she makes dragons like theirs, but none of them feels quite right…None of them feels like hers.

After school, a story from Grandma sparks new inspiration, and Amy rounds up her family to help her. Together, can they make Amy’s perfect dragon?

The ELC of North Florida is providing every child care provider in Clay, Nassau, Baker, Bradford, Putnam and St. Johns with a FREE copy of “Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon” along with a packet of activities to do along with the book. (There is a 4 book limit per school or 2 book limit for family child care homes). In the packet will be a template that you can use to copy Read for the Record participation certificates to give each child .

To get your books and packet you must RSVP by phone or email by Thursday, October 7th to Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Outreach Manager 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 or phone message include your center/school name, contact person, address, phone, email, number of books and the number of children you will be reading to. Please send photos of your reading event to jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org so they can be posted on the ELC Facebook page for everyone to enjoy seeing what you did with the children. The activities and reading guide can also be downloaded by visiting: https://www.jstart.org/read-for-the-record/

Volunteer Training Sessions Offered in August

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Early Learning Coalition volunteers Jane Hafner and Carol White read the book “Mr. Seahorse” by Eric Carle to children at Children’s World in Palatka, Fla., Wednesday November 18, 2020.

VOLUNTEER FLYER: https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/ELC-Volunteer-Recruitment-Flyer_July-2021_FINAL-PDF.pdf

Early Learning Coalition Needs Volunteer Readers in Six North Florida Counties

Training Sessions Offered in August

ORANGE PARK, Fla., August 9, 2021-  The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) is seeking new volunteers to read to children in local preschools and help them put on themed literacy programs. 

Reading volunteers read once a week or bi-weekly. Literacy program volunteers volunteer as needed, putting on themed programs in schools such as space, ocean, dinosaurs and more. Volunteers are part of a team that puts on the programs. 

Upcoming Training & Information Sessions: 

Thursday, August 19, 2021, 1 p.m.

ELC of North Florida Clay County Office

3620 Peoria Road, Orange Park, FL

Contact: Lacy Doss at ldoss@elcnorthflorida.org or call 904-342-2267 ext 202

Tuesday, August 31, 2021, 1 p.m. 

ELC of North Florida St. Johns County Office

2450 Old Moultrie Road, Suite 103, St. Augustine, FL 

Contact: Joan Whitson jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org or call 904-342-2267 ext 202

Thursday, September 2, 2021, 10:30 a.m. 

ELC of North Florida St. Johns County Office

3841 Reid St., Palatka, FL

Contact: Joan Whitson jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org or call 904-342-2267 ext 202

 

“Reading to young children sets the groundwork for a child’s future ability to read and learn,” said ELC Early Literacy Coordinator Joan Whitson. 

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

Parents Looking for Childcare Find Help with the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida [NEWS RELEASE]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Image/Caption: 

Children from God’s Little Creations in Palatka on April 22, 2021 creating fans before they learn the “fan dance”.

Children from God’s Little Creations in Palatka, Fla. is one of many child care centers that offer services for children in North Florida. The Early Learning Coalition can offer assistance in finding and paying for child care. Please visit www.ecs4kids.org/programs/school-readiness/ to apply. 

Full Resolution Photo Link: https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/IMG_9390.jpg

Parents Looking for Childcare Find Help with the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., August 10, 2021 – At the beginning of another school year, Florida is being impacted again by the new variant of the Covid pandemic, leaving some parents of young children facing similar child care situations as in 2020. With workplaces adjusting to new protocols, some parents of young children are caught in a cycle of not being able to work because childcare is not available or is too expensive. There is help available for families.

The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) helps parents find and afford childcare to help them return to work. Families who are in need of childcare are encouraged to contact the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida for both financial help and assistance in locating childcare. The ELC partners with Episcopal Children’s Services (ECS) to coordinate childcare services. For more information, contact ECS at 904-726-1500, toll free 1-800-238-3463 or visit 

www.ecs4kids.org/programs/school-readiness/.

The average cost for childcare in Florida is $8,400 a year. For parents hovering around the poverty level, this means that childcare is one of the factors preventing families from rising above the poverty level. Additionally, finding childcare can be very difficult. Episcopal Children’s Services Chief of Programs Teresa Matheny explained how the ELC funding program works. 

“The ELC offers financial assistance to families making up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level,” said Matheny. “Once enrolled, the family can continue to receive services until they earn up to 85 percent of the Florida Median Income. In practical numbers, this means a family of three earning up to $32,580 a year is eligible for funding and can remain in the program until their income exceeds $53,601.” 

In addition to helping parents pay for childcare, ECS will help parents locate child care in their area. Currently, ECS is able to get most waitlisted children into childcare within two weeks. 

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

 

ELC RFP for School Readiness and VPK Services is Open Now

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Please visit our School Readiness and VPK Page August 5 at 8 a.m. https://elcnorthflorida.org/rfp-for-school-readiness-vpk/

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida Holds Ocean Program at the Kids in Action Learning Center in Palatka

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Joan Whitson, Early Learning Literacy Coordinator, 

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida, Inc. 

Email: jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org  

Phone: 904-342-2267

 

Image/Caption: 

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida Volunteer Robin Robinson, Outreach Assistant Sue Murphy, and the teachers and students from the Kids In Action Learning Center in Palatka learning about the ocean on July 22, 2021.

DOWNLOAD FULL RESOLUTION IMAGE HERE: https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Robin-as-the-shark_edit.jpg 

(More photos can be found below the release.)

 

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida Holds Ocean Program at the Kids in Action Learning Center in Palatka

PALATKA, Fla., July 23, 2021 – On July 22, the Early Learning Coalition (ELC) of North Florida’s outreach team organized an ocean-themed literacy program at the Kids in Action Learning Center in Palatka. This early education program teaches kids all about the ocean and the many creatures that reside in it.

The kids explored ocean-related questions such as “What makes sand?”, “What are the layers of the ocean?” and “Which creatures live in each layer?”, along with supporting facts about numerous ocean creatures. For example, “Do you know how many brains an octopus has?” Answer is: Nine. One in each tentacle and one in their head. 

Through fun books and activities, the ELC outreach team makes the ocean come to life.  The children made their own ocean in a bottle, painted sea shell creatures and made sand necklaces. Each child received a free book called “Ocean Creatures” published by Scholastic and the school received a large bag of teaching resources to further teach the ocean unit. The ELC outreach team consists of paid staff plus a team of volunteers. 

The ELC of North Florida is looking for more volunteers to help with its themed literacy programs and its volunteer reading program. Volunteer readers read to preschool children on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Training is provided. Contact Joan Whitson, Outreach Manager for more information about volunteering at:  jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org or 904-342-2267 ext. 202.  

The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s website, Facebook and YouTube pages have up-to-date resources for providers and parents, in addition to their child care services, school readiness services and VPK programs. Please visit their website at www.elcnorthflorida.org; Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/elcnorthflorida or YouTube at www.youtube.com/elcpsj

 

More Ocean Program photos can be found here for use:

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Joan-and-Sara-and-Susan.jpg

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/group-picture-of-ladies-scaled.jpg

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/girl-holding-book_edit.jpg

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/kids-and-shells-scaled.jpg

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Robin-Robinson-Reading-Mr.-SeaHorse_edit.jpg

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/susan-and-joan.jpg

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/sar-and-joan-ocean-in-a-bottle_edit-scaled.jpg

 

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

 

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida Organizes Bubbles Program Throughout St. Johns County

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Joan Whitson, Early Learning Literacy Coordinator, 

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida, Inc. 

Email: jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org  

Phone: 904-342-2267

 

Image/Caption: 

Early Learning Coalition volunteer Erika Bauserman and students from Brighton Day Academy in St. Augustine learning about bubbles on July 6, 2021.

DOWNLOAD FULL RESOLUTION IMAGE HERE: https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/IMG_0902.jpg 

(More photos can be found below the release.)

 

Early Learning Coalition of North Florida Organizes Bubbles Program Throughout St. Johns County

JOHNS COUNTY, Fla., July 16, 2021 – The Early Learning Coalition (ELC) of North Florida’s outreach team is blowing bubbles all over St. Johns County this summer! Eight locations have been “hit” with the bubbles so far as ELC’s educators look to reach preschools with their Fun with Bubbles Science Program. This early education program teaches kids the science behind bubbles while having fun.

Students learn fun facts about bubbles (i.e. bubbles are air trapped in soap film), and then do activities to illustrate the new fact. The teachers receive a bag of supplies to do activities, including: bubble printing, bubble painting, free play making small and huge bubbles, straw ping pong and blowing art with bubble paint. Tying in literacy with science, the teachers also receive themed books for their classroom including “PoP! A Book About Bubbles” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. 

The ELC outreach team is committed to promoting literacy through science and creative themed programming. Each child also receives a book relating to the theme. For more information about volunteering with the ELC outreach team to put on programs like this, contact ELC Outreach Manager Joan Whitson at 904-343-2267 ext. 202.  

The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida’s website, Facebook and YouTube pages have up-to-date resources for providers and parents, in addition to their child care services, school readiness services and VPK programs. Please visit their website at www.elcnorthflorida.org; Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/elcnorthflorida or YouTube at www.youtube.com/elcpsj

 

More Bubble Program photos can be found here for use:

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/IMG_0902.jpg

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/IMG_0921.jpg

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/IMG_0888.jpg

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/IMG_0885.jpg

https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/IMG_0845.jpg

 

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

 

ELC Request for Proposal School Readiness and VPK Services

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EARLY LEARNING COALITION OF NORTH FLORIDA, INC.
Request for Proposal #ELCNF-22/23-001
School Readiness and Voluntary Prekindergarten Services

The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida, Inc. is requesting proposals for School Readiness and Voluntary Prekindergarten services in Baker, Bradford, Clay, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns Counties. The potential contractor will be responsible for coordinating and delivering School Readiness services to children birth through 12 years of age and Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) services for four or five year old children in fiscal year 2022/2023. Services include Child Care Resource and Referral, Inclusion, Quality Support Services, Eligibility and Enrollment, and Fiscal Administration.

The Request for Proposal will be released August 5, 2021 and may be obtained at www.elcnorthflorida.org . The Notice of Intent to Submit a Proposal is due to the Coalition no later than August 23, 2021, 4:00 p.m. (EST). The deadline for all sealed proposals to be submitted to the Coalition is no later than September 20, 4:00 p.m. (EST). The date, time, and location of the Public Opening of Proposals is included in the Calendar of Events in the RFP document that will be posted to the Coalition website, as well as all other dates, times, and locations of events as it relates to this RFP. The anticipated dates for the Posting of the Notice of Intended Award are December 2, 2021 – December 6, 2021 to the Coalition’s website, www.elcnorthflorida.org . Certified Minority Business Enterprises are encouraged to submit a proposal.

Only written correspondence and/or inquiries directed to the Coalition’s Procurement Manager (who is the sole point of contact with the Coalition for purposes of this RFP) will be accepted. The Procurement Manager’s name and contact information is: Tajaro Dixon, Early Learning Coalition of North Florida, 2450 Old Moultrie Rd, Suite 103, St. Augustine, FL 32086, and/or tdixon@elcnorthflorida.org. The
Coalition will not participate in any inquiries by phone. Only e-mail inquiries will be responded to and only during the scheduled Question and Answer time frame. Information obtained from any other source is not official and should not be relied upon. Violation of this “no contact” provision may result in the disqualification of the Proposer from this solicitation.

After the release of this RFP, if any solicitation revisions become necessary or appropriate, as determined by the Coalition, the Coalition will electronically post the addenda to the Coalition’s website, www.elcnorthflorida.org . Proposers are responsible for checking the Coalition website and contacting the Coalition’s Point of Contact for this solicitation before the RFP deadline to ascertain whether any addenda have been issued.

The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida, Inc. reserves the right to reject any and all solicitations or ignore or correct minor irregularities when it is in the best interest of the Coalition.

Funding Sources: The services described in this RFP and the resulting Contract will be funded by the General Revenue from the State of Florida and Federal funds. The State of Florida Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program is 100% state funded. And per the (May 6, 2021) most current OEL School Readiness Notice of Award for the ELC of North Florida available at time of writing this advertisement, the School Readiness Program is approximately 79.06% federally funded and 20.94% state funded.

Sponsored by: the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida, Inc. and the State of Florida, Office of Early Learning.

Early Learning Parents’ Pages for June 2021

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Check out the following resources for parents from the Office of Early Learning for the month of June!

Click to Access Early Learning Parents’ Pages for June 2021

 

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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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

May 2021 Volunteer Newsletter

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Check out the Volunteer Newsletter for May!

Click to Access the May 2021 Volunteer Newsletter

 

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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Early Learning Coalition of North Florida

[RELEASE] Early Learning Coalition Offers Assistance with Childcare

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Brighton Day CareFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: 

Teresa Matheny

Chief of Programs

Episcopal Childrens Services

904-726-1500 Ext. 247 

Cell: 904-521-6803

Teresa.Matheny@ecs4kids.org

 

Image/Caption: 

Brighton Day Care is one of many child care centers that offer services for children in North Florida. The Early Learning Coalition is accepting applications for funding for child care. Please visit www.ecs4kids.org/programs/school-readiness/ to apply. 

Full Resolution Photo Link: https://elcnorthflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Brighton-Day-April-2021-Group-Photo.jpeg

 

Early Learning Coalition Offers Assistance with Childcare

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., May 2, 2021 – Florida, akin to much of the country, has been hit hard by the Covid pandemic, and some parents of young children are caught in a cycle of not being able to work because childcare is not available or is too expensive. The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) can help parents find and afford childcare to help them return to work. Families who are in need of childcare are encouraged to contact the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida for both financial help and assistance in locating childcare. The ELC is partnering with Episcopal Children’s Services (ECS) to coordinate childcare services.  For more information, contact ECS at 904-726-1500, toll free 1-800-238-3463 or visit

www.ecs4kids.org/programs/school-readiness/.

 

The average cost for childcare in Florida is $8,400 a year. For parents hovering around the poverty level, this means that childcare is one of the factors preventing families from rising above the poverty level. Another issue is that finding childcare can be very difficult. Episcopal Children’s Services Chief of Programs Teresa Matheny explained how the ELC funding program works. 

 

“The ELC offers financial assistance to families making up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level,” said Matheny. “Once enrolled, the family can continue to receive services until they earn up to 85 percent of the Florida Median Income. In practical numbers, this means a family of three earning up to $32,580 a year is eligible for funding and can remain in the program until their income exceeds $53,601.” 

 

Currently, there are waivers in place that relax the requirements for applying services.  The waivers allow individuals who are unemployed and seeking work to apply as well as those that have had a reduction in their work hours to qualify for funding through the ELC. These waivers will expire at the end of June. 

 

Eligible families are charged a fee based on income and family size. They may be required to make up the difference between the ELC funding and the fees charged by the childcare provider.  Matheny described the financial obligation for a hypothetical parent in the ELC program. 

 

“While each preschool is different, an example of this situation would be that the parent is charged a parent fee of $5 per week. The ELC pays for $150 a week to the childcare provider. If the provider normally charges $175 a week, the parent may be asked to pay $30 a week, representing the $5 parent fee plus the $25 difference,” said Matheny. 

 

In addition to helping parents pay for childcare, ECS will help parents locate child care as well. Currently, ECS is able to get most waitlisted children into childcare within 30 days. 

 

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