May is a full month at our Center. We will be celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week, taking our Pre-K students on field trips, hosting a “Mommy & Me” talent show to celebrate mothers and ending the month with graduation. Sixteen of our children will don caps and gowns to commemorate the transition from preschool to kindergarten.
Caring for the Whole Child
The relationship between nutrition, health, and learning is incredibly strong. Nutrition is one of three major factors that impact learning. At The Children’s Center, we offer breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack to all children included with their weekly tuition. We partner with the USDA to provide healthy and nutritious meals, all cooked fresh on site. With Ms. Gadson, an employee of 40 years managing the kitchen, children receive a wide variety of home-cooked meals. Children eat family style in their classrooms, learning social skills and table manners while trying new and delicious foods.
In partnership with Deep Well, our families receive groceries on Friday afternoon to take home and prepare over the weekend. Deep Well began this program in January, providing weekend breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for about 50 families each week. Families must qualify to participate. This helps to ensure our children are growing and developing both mind and body.
Safety is First Priority!
Each summer our Center offers a Summer Camp program for children entering kindergarten through second grade. Many of our families appreciate being able to have their children in the same place throughout the summer. Here at our Center, Summer Camp is more than just fun and games, all activities are geared toward helping the children avoid the dreaded “summer slide.” Many kids tend to lose their skills over the summer and teachers have to spend the first several weeks re-teaching their students. Here, we focus on math and literacy skill retention throughout the summer. An assessment of each child at the beginning and end of the camp program allows us to measure our success.
Last year, all of our five and six-year-olds retained or increased their math and literacy scores. Eighty-six percent of our older children retained their literacy proficiency. The children take field trips, visit the Island Recreation Center for swimming lessons, and enjoy many outdoor other activities. Our 2019 Summer Camp is partially funded by the Woman’s Association of Hilton Head and the Ward Family Foundation. We are grateful for their support!
Why Does it Matter?
The State of South Carolina has made it mandatory that all teachers in our Center complete a 15-hour Health and Safety program within the first 90 days of their employment. This online program has been evaluated by the South Carolina Center for Child Care Career Development and approved by the South Carolina Department of Social Services. This set of online classes ensures all staff has the basic training for the health and safety of their children for which they care. Topics like Infectious Disease Control, Handwashing 101, SIDS, Bloodborne Pathogens, and others are included.
The state also requires all teachers to complete a minimum of fifteen hours of continuing education classes annually. The Children’s Center supports and encourages our teachers to expand their skills with a variety of class offerings each year.