Valerie Knight-Collier shares her teaching philosophies about working with the children in her classroom at Neighborhood House in the Portland neighborhood of Louisville. For the last 26 years, she has taught with love and passion, providing an environment where children grow and learn through play. As she says, “I’m a firm believer that if you cover every situation with love, they will see a change.” She sees the bigger picture, that role modeling good choices for children and giving them a good foundation helps Portland grow too. “Our kids bloom and blossom right where they’re planted.”
When we think of experiencing nature with children, often we envision a park filled with trees, a garden of vegetables or a field of flowers, but more often than not encounters with the natural world happen on a much smaller scale and in subtle ways. Lucky for us, children are keen observers. It isn’t hard for them to find nature, even in the middle of the city. It might be a roly poly discovered along the edge of a walkway and shared between two pairs of hands or a leaf taken from an ivy vine hanging over a stone wall. These small moments of nature can be powerful tools in guiding children to appreciate and wonder about nature. What children need from adults are the time to stop, observe and ask questions and the willingness to wonder along side them.
How often are we in such a hurry that we are practically pulling our children along behind us even when they see something interesting and want to stop to take a closer look? Of course there are places we have to be (and we can’t always spend an hour walking from the house to the car). But even if we just pause for a few seconds to pick a dandelion at our child’s request and feel its softness, we can let children know that what they find interesting is important and worthy of our time.
Every child care provider needs a way to make his or her job easier, and now 4-C is going to help you do just that. We are proud to announce the new and improved Kentucky Shared Services with a new logo, a new look and new resources to streamline your business operations so you spend less time searching for resources and creating documents and put more time back into providing quality care.
And just in time for Valentine’s Day to show you how much we love our child care providers, all licensed and certified providers in Jefferson County will receive free access for one year thanks to our partnership with theFace It® Movement! Now more than 1,200 resources are available to you to work smarter instead of harder including handbooks, policies and procedures, templates, forms, discounts and more.
“My favorite part of the Ky Shared Services is the HR Tab – from policies to job descriptions to staff evaluations. This tab is a life saver…I love, love, love that I can just pull up the site and refer to what I need. I was pleasantly surprised to see the staff evaluations. They were a huge help this year,” said Debbie Borst Smith, Daycare Director, Highlands Community Ministries.
For all Jefferson County providers, you can become a member today for free, visit www.kysharedservices.org and request a membership. Membership outside of Jefferson County is available for a minimal yearly cost. Click here for pricing.
The American Printing House for the Blind in partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is offering a new program to our community called Braille Tales. Braille Tales is a free print-braille book program for preschoolers who are blind and visually impaired. Their goal is to develop crucial literacy and braille awareness skills at an early age in order to promote independence among members of the blind and visually impaired community.
Families enrolled in Braille Tales receive a free print-braille book every other month until the child reaches their sixth birthday. They also enroll parents and legal guardians who are braille readers and have sighted preschool-aged children. Families keep the books as part of their permanent home library.
Currently, Braille Tales has over 700 families enrolled across the country. They recently received a grant from the WHAS Crusade for Children to expand this program to all eligible preschoolers in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Service providers can help families fill out the application, but it has to have the parent’s/legal guardian’s information on the form. Families can sign up online at www.aph.org/BrailleTales.