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July 23, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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July 23, 2004
 

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PAGE 12B HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, Many areas set apart the JCC of Greater Orlando's early childhood education program from other area childcare fa- cilities - its highly trained staff, facilities, educational curricu- lum and NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredita- tion are all impressive. But both parents and teachers agree that what truly defines the Richard S. Adler Early Childhood Learning Center is its sense of family. "It's just such a blessing to be part of the wonderful 'J' family," said Sue Napolitano, an 11-year veteran of the ECLC teaching staff. "To be able to plug into something like this is phenomenal; it's a regular neighborhood." Building bondswith families and children is a critical part of providing quality childcare and learning opportunities. It is not unusual for a teacher to have two or three siblings from one family during the course of their career at the JCC. "Nothing warms a teacher's heart more than a family re- questing their classroom for the family's next child," said Carol McNally, ECLC Director at the Maitland Campus. "This type of longevity builds teach- ers that have vast experience and a strong commitment to families and the environment that they work in." Teachers agree that this relationship is key to the child's growth - both academically and so- cially. "It's so important to develop a relationship with the whole family," said Vicky Diel, who has been teaching Pre-K students at the JCC for the past nine years. "It helps you understand the dynamics of the family, which, in turn, helps you understand the best way to help that child succeed. It's also really nice to watch the older siblings grow up be- yond the nursery school." Sue Napolitano agrees: "It fosters such a sense of community when you know a family. It also helps the child transition into your classroom because the channels of communica- tion are well established." There is also a high correla- tion between staff education, the quality of childcare and the educational preparedness ofchildren.Asa requirement of the ECLC's NAEYC accredita- tion, the teachers must take a minimum of 18 hours of con- tinuing education per year. These can be taken as part of the JCC's in-service program, the teacher's child develop- ment credentials or external conferences and educational classes. "Our staff is encouraged to continue their education and are given the support to accomplish this goal," said Mc- Nally."Our teachers average 22 to 26 hours of continuing edu- cation, which is due, in part, to our wide range of in-house training programs." Well over 40 hours of in- house training is offered every year by area professionals and specialists to ensure that the teachers remain on the cutting edge of educational programs and techniques. These areas range from curriculum devel- opment tointegratingart, mu- sic and sensory activities into learning; identifying learning problems; the complex social CAROL MCNALI,Y, the JCC's ECLC director at the Maitland campus. world of preschoolers; and inclusion training, which is unique to the JCC. "I have made it a point to attend all of the classes on inclusion," said Diel. "I have had a number of children in my classroom over the years with varying degrees of disabilities. Because of my training, we have been able to bring these special-needs children into our classroom in such a way that the other children don't notice there's any difference. They just meld into ourworld, and that's truly a wonderful feeling." Lead teachers who are di- rectly responsible for creating and implementing lesson plans all have Child Development credentials and the majority of them have college degrees. Most of the assistant teachers have earned their credentials as well, and many of them even have a higher degree. Opportunities for advance- administration mentandsharedresponsibil- and assists in ity in the ongoing operation solving chal- of the school are important lenges within factors in job satisfaction and the environ- retention. The average years ment. "When of service is sixand over one- staff and thirdoftheteachershavebeen administrators on staff for eight years or work together, more. Many teachers started astrongerteam out as college students work- is built and our ing towards their degree in a families and teacher's aide position, then children will moved into a teaching assis- thrive in this Teacher VICKEYDIEI, with tant role. Once they earned supportive class. their degree, they were as- environment," signedtheirownclassroomas said McNally. a lead teacher and, after five "We get the years of experience, become a benefit of their Master Teacher who mentors knowledge and develops staff. Three out and expertise of the four administrators at and they gain theJCCpre-schoolwereMas- a sense of ter Teachers promoted to an ownership and administrative position, pride." "The administration here With an has complete and full in- average tenure vestment in their teaching of six years, staff's success," said Marcy it's clear that, Rosenbaum, supervisor of when some- the ECLC's 4s and Pre-K one joins the Teacher SUE NAPOI,ITANO programs. "We have such a JCC teaching"2"s'class. low turnover rate because staff, he or she we ensure the teaching staff becomesamemberofthe JCCto retaining has everything they need to family. "When I walked .into to recognize that be successful in their class- the JCC and saw the NAEYC families, too," said rooms, many opportunities accreditation, I knew I was "Our job for advancement, and proper home," said Napolitano. "To and families mentoring so they never feel consistently remain at the top our staff" like they're floundering. The of the field in our area is quite sense of family here is huge." an accomplishment, and I am JCC's award-winning JCC staff members are also proudtoplayapartinaprogram and pre-school pt asked to participate in many of that is hands down the best in contact Carol thedecisionsthataremadefor the area." tland Campus) at and about the school. Fifteen "This school offers so many 5933, ext. 265, or teachers make up the Center's educational activities and at carolm SMARTgrouporSharedMan- learning programs," added contactBrenda agementAndResolutionTeam. Did. "The staff is like family; Campus) at Thisgroupofseasonedprofes- we help each other." brendas( sionals brings concerns to the "Ithinkan important aspect Each day at KinderCare, our teachers and Center Directors provide the very best care and attention, love and learning, fun and that you and your child deserve from your childcare provider. Make sure YOUR child h ts all of these KinderCare advanta Great achel,'s Tem1 lyehilad file teacher Safety security and cleanliness Age-specific curricula Parent irwolvement Fun playgrounds Positive learning environmel t All meals provided Free, convenient transportatiOO, , Commitment to the highest stmadards Longwood KinderCare 2654 State Road 434 West (407) 774-2742 (Next to State Farm, off of Rt. 434) Dorscher KinderCare 644 Dorseher Road (407) 293-6618 (Near Sports Authority, two traffic lights west of Colonial and Hiawassee) Lake Mary KinderCare 910 W. Lake Mary Blvd (407) 321-0053 (Between Art Lane and Country Club Road) Alafaya Woods K/nderCare 300 Alafaya Woods Bird (407) 366-8923 (North of Alafaya Woods subdivision) Rangeline KinderCare 271 Rangeline Road (407) 331-1212 (Located on the corner of Rangeline Road and 434) Wmter Park Drive KinderCare 940 South Winter Park Drive (407) 339-9024 (Across the street from Ace Hardware, next to Metro Life Church) Executive Park KinderGare~ 625 Executive Park Court (407) 682-1204 (Behind Wendfs and %co Bell) Oruge Blossom KiuderC, are 12307 South Orange Blossom Trail (407) 240-6640 (sin to So. h v, ge) Fruitland KinderCare 480 Fmitland Street (407) 339-5458 (Behind the Altamonte Mall) Goldenrod Road KinderCare 4035 Goldenrod Road (407) 671-3870 (Near Mobile Gas Station, across from First Union Bank) Winter Springs KinderCare 1024 Spring Villas Point (407) 699 8614 (Near the intersection of Red Bug and Tuskawilla, located on the street between Dennfs and Donates) Offering Hooked on Spanish and Hooked on Math/ *Free wedx is for new eamaees only! Each new child enrolled and active prior to September 30, 2004 will be ~ligible Io receive a free week. Offer cannot be used in conjunction wlth other o/lets or diacoQin tad is subinot to center Imtrticipatien and space availability. Must present coupon at time of enrollment to receive offer, See Center Director for additional details.