Open House August 10, 5:30-7:00

Open House at Sanibel Preschool

 

The Children's Education Center of the Islands will host an Open House for prospective families and new CECI families for the communities of Sanibel, Captiva and Fort Myers on Friday, August 10 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. There will be an introduction to the school serving children ages 12 months to 5 years as well as to our free VPK (Voluntary PreKindergarten) class. Guests will be invited to tour all of the classrooms and meet the teachers. Children are welcome to attend with their parents to see their classrooms. 

 

The Children's Education Center of the Islands is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Preschool offering full time and part time classes for children ages 12 months to 5 years, and offers free Voluntary PreKindergarten (VPK). The preschool is currently accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year, which begins on August 13. Scholarships are also available on a limited basis. For more information, call Ms. Cindy at the preschool at 472-4538 or email cindy@childrenseducationcenter.com.

Now Hiring!

Seeking a VPK and 3s Teacher for Nature-based Preschool

Founded in 1974, the Children’s Education Center of the Islands located on Sanibel Island is seeking a compassionate VPK teacher and 3s teacher to assist in our growth as a nature-based school. This is a part-time position with the opportunity to become full-time. We are most interested in those individuals who endeavor to bring the joy and wonder of the natural world to the minds of children and who wish to build foundations of life-long nature connection.

Qualifications Include:

-Minimum 2 years teaching

-Bachelor Degree preferred

-You must be energetic, upbeat, positive and display a "can-do" attitude

-Ability and desire to teach and manage children in a classroom setting

-Experience in planning, writing and teaching lesson plans

 

 Would already have or be willing to obtain:

-Level II Background Screen and local background check State of Florida required 45 hours of introductory training, CPR & First Aid

-Staff Credential or other equivalent credential

-Knowledge or background in the environmental sciences or environmental education is desired

Tolls included.

Please email a detailed resume, a brief introductory paragraph (or book length memoir) and three references (that you haven’t burned bridges with and, preferably, actually exist) with your application to cindyatceci@gmail.com!

The Importance of Climbing Trees

Some of us can remember climbing as far as you could to the top of a tree and feeling that you had conquered the world. Letting your imagination take over while you were the Captain of your ship, sailing through rough waters with a storm looming just ahead! Sadly, how often do you see a child in a tree anymore?

Learning how to climb a tree is becoming a lost art. Many parents are afraid their child might fall, might be bitten by a snake or spider, or worse yet, might get dirty!  This mentality is depriving our children of so many benefits of learning to climb, and fall from, a tree. In today's world, so many of our children sit all day at school, in the car, on their phone, at the computer, that their bodies are becoming literally weak. It is our job as educators and parents to reverse this trend before it is too late.

In a recent beautiful day at our preschool, I was sitting 10 feet away from our magnificent wild tamarind tree watching as some of our students were attempting to climb the tree. Some were successful, some weren't, but all of them kept trying to get up that tree. One student was so excited that he made it up, he let go to shout and quickly fell straight backwards onto the ground. Now before you start thinking how awful I was to allow him to fall, that I wasn't right under him to catch him, please realize that once he caught his breath, he looked at me to see if he was in trouble (for falling??), I simply smiled, asked if he was okay and he started climbing right back up that tree! The amount of courage, perseverance, and determination by that child was a wonderful sight! And what a valuable lesson he learned! I could have told him fifty times to keep three points of contact on the tree, the technical way of teaching a child to climb a tree, or he could have learned it by falling four feet.

The benefits of a simple task such as climbing trees are vital to our children. While climbing trees, a child must think about the best route to go with their hands and feet to go up, and down, which develops critical thinking and problem solving skills. Spacial awareness is also being acquired as they figure out how to fit their bodies in between branches and tight spots. Gross motor skills and muscle strength are being challenged as they must lift their bodies with their arms and legs while reaching with their hands and feet. Core strength is being developed. Concentration is being tested as they truly focus on their next move. And once they have climbed as far as they are comfortable, self-regulation, the confidence and boost of self-esteem that will be beaming from them is absolutely invaluable. There is also the lessons learned from falling from a tree. Honestly, how many of us fell from a tree more than once and never broke a bone? I bet you next time they will hold tighter to the branch or choose a different path up that tree. Very valuable lessons can be taught from falling. The cherry on top is a child exploring the world around them, giving them an appreciation for nature which in turn will turn in to an appreciation for conservation, something our little island values tremendously. 

So the next time you longingly look at a tree and wish you could be dangling from the tippy top branches yelling "Ahoy Matey!", grab your child and encourage them to climb. Remember, it they need a boost, they aren't quite ready, be patient little grasshopper, they will indeed figure it out in due time.

The Children's Education Center of the Islands is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Preschool offering full-time and part-time classes for children ages 12 months to 5 years, and offers free Voluntary PreKindergarten (VPK). The preschool is still accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year, which begins on August 13. Scholarships are also available on a limited basis. For more information, call Ms. Cindy at the preschool at 472-4538 or email cindy@childrenseducationcenter.com.

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Spring Festival 2018, March 31, 9:00-11:00

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The Children's Education Center of the Islands will host their 24th Spring Festival on Saturday, March 31, 2018.  It will be held at the Sanibel City Park, next to the Playground on Periwinkle Way, from 9:00 to 11:00 and all families are invited to celebrate with us.  The festivities will begin at 9:00 sharp with a free Easter egg hunt for children of all ages.

The games, contests and crafts will begin immediately after and will continue until 11:00.  A $10 armband will allow each child unlimited fun to participate in all activities.  The festival fun will include pony and unicorn rides, a bounce house, giant slide, face painting, and many other crafts and games.  Best of all, the Easter Bunny will be available at 10:15 for pictures!  The festival will also include a silent auction with written bid sheets from over 60 baskets to choose from!

The Children's Education Center of the Islands is a non-profit school run by a parent board.  The school relies heavily on the support of the community.  Proceeds from the Spring Festival will benefit the Education Center's scholarship fund and capital improvements.   All residents and visitors are welcome to attend! 

Spring Festival 2017, April 15 9-11

The Children's Education Center of the Islands will host their 23rd Spring Festival on Saturday, April 15, 2017.  It will be held at the Sanibel City Park, next to the Playground on Periwinkle Way, from 9:00 to 11:00 and all families are invited to celebrate with us.  The festivities will begin at 9:00 sharp with a free Easter egg hunt for children of all ages.

The games, contests and crafts will begin immediately after and will continue until 11:00.  A $10 armband will allow each child unlimited fun to participate in all activities.  The festival fun will include pony and unicorn rides, a bounce house, giant slide, face painting, and many other crafts and games.  Best of all, the Easter Bunny will be available at 10:15 for pictures!  The festival will also include a silent auction with written bid sheets from over 60 baskets to choose from!

The Children's Education Center of the Islands is a non-profit school run by a parent board.  The school relies heavily on the support of the community.  Proceeds from the Spring Festival will benefit the Education Center's scholarship fund and capital improvements.   All residents and visitors are welcome to attend! 

Flamingo Frenzy Hits the Islands

Several flocks of flamingos have been spotted in people's yards around the islands of Sanibel and Captiva. While these beautiful, pink flamingos may seem harmless, they are actually very territorial and capable of creating great conversation, laughter and even in some cases, good hearted revenge! In case you did not know, unless they are placed on someone else's lawn, they will roost on your property for a very long time! Removal of the flock of pink, plastic flamingos should be attempted only by trained professionals. The Children's Education Center of the Islands has specially trained Removal Technicians that you can call and who will remove the flock without harming them, for a small donation. 

If you would like to a flock a friend and support the Children's Education Center, please call the Flocking Hotline at 472-4538 and they will happily send GPS locations of your friend's address to the head flamingo in charge.

2016 Cardboard Challenge!

What is the Global Cardboard Challenge? Inspired by the short film, “Caine’s Arcade,” the Global Cardboard Challenge is a worldwide celebration of child creativity and the role communities can play in fostering it. The Global Cardboard Challenge is an opportunity for kids to build whatever they can dream up out of cardboard, recycled materials and imagination! 

We put on the Global Cardboard Challenge because it is:: • engages children in creative play • fosters creativity, ingenuity, resourcefulness, perseverance and teamwork • gives children an opportunity to explore their interests and passions, and make things that have an impact on others • provides a platform for communities to actively foster and celebrate child creativity • increases global happiness and makes for a happier, more playful world. • is FUN! The Cardboard Challenge has also been used by parents and teachers to teach a wide variety of skills and subjects. Through the Cardboard Challenge, children have learned math, engineering and other STEM related concepts, writing, design thinking, creative problem solving, sustainability, social entrepreneurship and more. The Challenge is a great way to kick off the school year and get kids excited about learning. 

This is what "readiness" really looks like!

When Children Leave Preschool to Enter Kindergarten They Can...

  1. Participate as a member of an interdependent community
  2. Care for themselves, other and the community
  3. Treat others with love and compassion
  4. Cooperate with other children to accomplish group goals
  5. Celebrate group accomplishments
  6. Laugh and play with a tangible sense of joy
  7. Express their emotions with both language and art
  8. Be inquisitive
  9. Initiate new ideas and invent solutions to problems
  10. Stick with difficult tasks or come back to them later, in order to succeed
  11. Run, jump, tumble, and hit/kick/throw a ball
  12. Sing and dance with exuberance and without self-consciousness
  13. Paint, draw, sculpt and construct objects of beauty
  14. Maintain the community's special spaces in cleanliness and order
  15. Greet guests with courtesy and charm

Thanks to Tom Drummond of North Seattle Community College for this excellent list!