Community Thank You Card to Child Care Providers

Posted: April 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, Event | No Comments »

Thank You

Keystone Learning Academy
Keystone Staff
Thanks for all the great work you do for the families and children at Keystone Learning Academy! I’m so excited and proud about the progress we are making. You guys rock!!
Sharon Hemingway
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 Highland Community Ministries
 Many years ago, as a young mother with a new 3-month old baby girl, I returned to work and left my daughter with the great folks (Gigi was in the infant room) at HCM (Cherokee Road). Eighteen months later I entrusted my second daughter to their care. The caring folks at HCM allowed me to relax and concentrate on my work, knowing that my daughters were in the hands of loving, competent, and caring professionals who understood their needs during the varying stages of early childhood. I remember that 5 years later when the girls left HCM for kindergarten, I felt like we were losing an extension of our family. Thanks so much to all early childhood educators who provide care, nurturing, learning, and so much more to the children (and parents) in their care.
 Cecelia Price
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 All Child Care Professionals
 Happy Child Care Provider Appreciation day to all of those who care for our precious children. What a blessing you are to the community. Thank you for your hard work & dedication!
 Tammi Geftos
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To all the Child Care Providers who help our refugee families every day.
A special thank you to our child care providers who work with our refugee families and their children. I know that it can be challenging to help these families adjust to new routines and ways of life in their new country but please know that we are grateful for the love and care you provide every day. Just like every family, refugee families see their children as their most precious possession and as a valuable investment in the future of their new country. Your work is so valuable! Thank you!
Staci Kottkamp- Kentucky Refugee Ministries
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 Our Lady Of Lourdes Day Care
All of My Staff
I have a dedicated staff that have been with me for a long time. One of my staff has been here for 30 yrs, another for 22, myself 17yrs. We have loved, nurtured, nourished, taught, potty trained, refereed, consoled, and got them kindergarten ready each and every year. My staff help with fundraisers that they don’t get paid for to help buy the extra things that day cares need. Our parents treat all of us with love and respect as we do to them. We treat their children as our own and that is the security parents need to go about their day without worry.
Our center has an outstanding reputation and through our hard work and love for children we are able to keep that strong reputation.
We don’t get paid a lot of money but my staff gives 100% each and every day.
Fabyan Bridgmon
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 Kid’s Academy
 I am more than grateful to have help provided to me and my children. Without you I could not work and provide for my babies. You are mothers and friends to my kids and we thank you for being there.
 Cassie Feldman
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Excellence Academy Master Teacher Spotlight

Posted: April 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: News | 1 Comment »

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Sarah Bonifer

Center Name: Goodwill of Southern Indiana Children’s Learning Center
Classroom Age Group: Preschool (3 years old)
Years of Teaching Experience: 8.5 years
Years in the Excellence Academy:     2 years
Highest Education Level Achieved: Bachelor’s Degree (English)
Special Certification: CDA

 

What is one of your favorite things about teaching young children?
I love watching children reach a goal. It is so rewarding to see them try and try and finally become successful at something they have worked so hard to achieve.

 

How has the Excellence Academy changed you, your classroom environment, your knowledge of early childhood development and your teaching practices and strategies?
The Excellence Academy has helped me to create a welcoming classroom in which we are able to teach and nurture our children. The mentors have been a valuable resource and a wealth of knowledge on early childhood development. They have aided me in becoming a better teacher.

 

Tell us about your family.
My husband, Eric, and I have been married for a year and a half, and we love spending time together. We have been house hunting and are looking for a place that is big enough for us to enjoy for a while. We are also waiting until we get a bigger place so that we can have space for a puppy to run around.

 

Do you have any hidden talents?
I am told that I sing a pretty good “All That Jazz” on karaoke night.

 

What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?
When the weather is nice, I love to walk with my husband. We go to different parks, the Big Four Bridge, and we also love to walk around Huber’s Winery. The vineyards there are beautiful. I guess we just really enjoy spending time together, whether we are seeing a concert or just hanging out in the living room.

 

What would be impossible for you to give up?
I don’t think I can give up Diet Coke. I don’t drink a lot of Diet Coke, but when I need one, I NEED one. There is no in between.

 

How do you want to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as someone that had a positive impact on the lives of children. I want children to remember an exciting activity or a particular moment from being in my class and recall how that event or lesson taught them about themselves or about something they will carry with them forever.

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Investigating Bubbles

Posted: April 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, News, Science | No Comments »

IMG_3642Who doesn’t love bubbles, little orbs floating in the air, colors swirling on their surfaces, the fleeting moments you have to watch them before they pop into thin air? Not only are bubbles fun, they are a wonderful medium for experimentation and were the topic of our latest science training “Investigating Bubbles.”

Most people I know have had only a limited experience with the many ways to play with bubbles.  They might have used a variety of bubble wands or an automated bubble blower, but most have never made a bubble wall with a dowel rod and two pieces of string or blown bubbles right on the table with a straw.

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Using everyday, inexpensive items from around the house, there are endless creative ways to experiment with bubbles. Basically any object with a hole can be used, cookie cutters, rubber bands, pieces of string, cardboard tubes, funnels, even a Slinky…the list goes on and on.

The biggest hit of the night was being able to hold a bubble in your hand, and all you need is a winter knitted glove, the kind you can find for $1. With gloves on you can hold and bounce a bubble in your hand! The other secret to holding bubbles is to make your own bubble solution. It is so much better than the store bought kind. It will also make longer lasting bubbles if you make it ahead of time and let the solution sit for at least a day.

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Ultimate Bubble Recipe

1 gallon water

1 cup Dawn or Joy Dishwashing Liquid

1/8 cup of Glycerin (found at drug stores

 

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Posted: April 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: News | No Comments »

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The Power of Teaching How to Fail

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers | No Comments »

Grit, tenacity, and perseverance, call it what you want, but it all comes down to teaching children how to fail and try again.

A growing body of research suggests that having these skills plays a huge role in a child’s long term success. As caretakers, we tend to make things easy for children when they are frustrated or having a hard time completing a task, like tying their shoes. We take over for them so we can move on to the next thing. Sometimes we forget to slow down and remember that the task is the next thing.

Mastering tasks gives children confidence and pride. It shows them that they are capable people. Without that knowledge, children give up when faced with something difficult whether it be a building a tall block tower, learning how to write their names, using a pair of scissors or negotiating with a friend over a favorite toy car.

So how can we do it? In the face of all there is to teach children, how do we encourage children to be independent? With our youngest, we can start with simple tasks. Ask yourself, what can the child do? Can the child zip his coat if we start it for him? Can she use a paper towel to clean a mess she made? Can he try to pour his own glass of water if we give him a small pitcher with just enough water in it to fill his glass?

This isn’t about “toughing up” our children or being hard on them. It is about teaching them the skills to try and try again.  In a recent interview, Kentucky author Barbara Kingsolver said that she fostered this skill in her own children with a simple mantra, “You can do hard things.”


Excellence Academy Master Teacher Spotlight

Posted: March 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: News | No Comments »

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Mavie Leon Diaz

Center Name: Chestnut Street YMCA
Classroom Age Group: Two and Three Year Olds
Years of Teaching Experience: Over 10 years
Years in the Excellence Academy:     2 years
Highest Education Level Achieved: some college courses
Special Certification: CDA

 

What is one of your favorite things about teaching young children?
I love interacting with the children. We have fun throughout the day playing and learning together. It’s exciting to see the children’s faces light up when they learn something new!
How has the Excellence Academy changed you, your classroom environment, your knowledge of early childhood development and your teaching practices and strategies?
In my participation with the Excellence Academy, I have become more confident in my daily activities. The tools and knowledge of Early Childhood Education are available to me as I become a better and stronger teacher. I have gained skills in technology, newsletter writing, and public speaking! With these skills, I have grown professionally and personally. I am able to introduce new techniques to my class and parents as well.My children and their families are more involved in our classroom. Our classroom environment is warm and inviting. We use Creative Curriculum studies to learn and create an exciting place to explore. I truly understand the importance of giving children my time and respect. I am able to accurately observe the kids and incorporate my observations into individual and group plans to further their development.
Tell us about your family.
My family is very small. I have two children, Rafael who is 13 and Rachel just turned six years old. I have been married to my lovely husband for 16 years. My mom and grandmother live in Cuba and my older brother has lived in Spain for over 20 years. I lost my father in 1995 due to a heart attack. Even when we are far away, we keep in touch; we are still a very close and loving family.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I don’t think I have one, but my grandfather would always tell me, “When you grow up, be a decorator!” I love switching stuff around and am always looking for the best way to arrange things.
What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?
My favorite way to spend a weekend is to be at my hometown (Cuba) with my mom, kids, husband, and the rest of my family enjoying my grandma’s food.
What would be impossible for you to give up?
The one thing I could never give up would be my children and family.
How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as a teacher who made a positive difference in her class and was able to leave a footprint on my students.

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Posted: February 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, News | Tags: , | No Comments »

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Excellence Academy Master Teacher Spotlight

 

Dorman Center Master Teacher Bio Picture Leann Sutter

Leann Sutter

Center Name: Dorman Preschool Center
Classroom Age Group: Preschool (3-5 years old)
Years of Teaching Experience: 25 years
Years in the Excellence Academy:     2 years
Highest Education Level Achieved: High School
Special Certification: CDA (in progress)

 

What is one of your favorite things about teaching young children?
I love seeing children learn and discover new things. I love when they know something well enough to share their information with others.
How has the Excellence Academy changed you, your classroom environment, your knowledge of early childhood development and your teaching practices and strategies?
I have gone from being a “theme” teacher to a teacher who enjoys learning and discovering right along with the children. The Excellence Academy has provided us with materials and knowledge to enhance our environments. The idea of studies went from being “what?” to “wow!” I’ve seen the children’s excitement towards discovering new things grow. Their ability to retain information has increased. I enjoy the documentation process so much more than any form of assessment I’ve done previously. It is much more thorough and provides me with a better picture of how the children are progressing. It is the best experience I’ve had in early childhood in the 25 plus years that I’ve been involved with children, by far. It’s what I’ve been waiting for!
Tell us about your family.
I am married and have four children, three boys (28, 26, and 24 years old) and a 12 year old daughter. We moved to Kentucky from California nine years ago.
What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?
I love to trail ride. We have a herd of around 40 horses used for equine therapy at a horse camp across from my house. I love to spend time grooming, riding or just being with them.
What would be impossible for you to give up?
My family first, country living, fresh air, my dogs and the outdoors
How do you want to be remembered?
As someone who helped someone else feel less lonely in this world

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Kindergarten Countdown!

Posted: February 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, Event, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

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Excellence Academy Master Teacher Spotlight

Posted: January 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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Lowryanna Shelby

 Lowryanna Shelby

Center Name: Neighborhood House
Classroom Age Group: Preschool (3-5 years old)
Years of Teaching Experience: 13 years
Years in the Excellence Academy:     2 years
Highest Education Level Achieved: Bachelor’s Degree (in progress)
Special Certification: CDA in Infant/Toddler

 

What is one of your favorite things about teaching young children?
I love teaching as it is a passion of mine. The connections and impact I have made on a child’s life will last long after they have left my care.
How has the Excellence Academy changed you, your classroom environment, your knowledge of early childhood development and your teaching practices and strategies?
The Excellence Academy has changed the way I speak and interact with my children on a daily basis. My classroom has become an ongoing changing environment. As my children’s interests change so does the classroom. My knowledge of early childhood development goes hand in hand with the teaching practices and strategies encouraged by the Excellence Academy.

Tell us about your family.
I am the youngest of three children. I have an older sister who I am very close to. I have an older brother who passed away due to epilepsy in 1995. My father is number six of twelve children. So, my family is very large and most of them are singers. I am actually named after all of my grandmothers.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can read music. I played flute and piccolo from elementary through college. I can sing. I recorded a demo CD back in 2003. I can also dance.
What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?
My favorite way to spend a weekend would be in Florida, sinus free, on a beach, with a romance novel.
What would be impossible for you to give up?
I would say that it would be impossible to give up my family. I am very close to my family, especially my father’s side of the family.
How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as one who made a difference in a positive way. Whether it is big or small, that is how I wish to be remembered.

 

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Early Childhood Science

Posted: December 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: News, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

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