Sarasota, FL – Children First and State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) are proud to announce the formalization of an Early Childhood Education Partnership. Students in the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education will complete their final teaching internship in Children First Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms. These students will intern with teachers in early care environments serving children during the most critical period of child developmental — birth through age five. The foundation established in these years is crucial to student success in kindergarten and beyond. Student teacher interns will be in an environment that will assist them in achieving the highest levels of success while working with the agency, children, and families.
“This partnership will allow us to showcase the rich diversity of the children and families we serve and our staff and facilities as a Head Start/Early Head Start grantee to a new group of motivated, energetic potential teachers! Children First was selected as a cooperating school due to our status as a nationally recognized Head Start Program of Excellence and our demonstrated ability to provide the appropriate instructional, supervisory, and physical resources needed to serve as a cooperating school. The measure of a successful outcome will be completion of the program and student interns equipped with the knowledge, skills, and competencies required of the profession. It is an honor to serve in this capacity and give the gift of a professionally trained early childhood educator to our community,” said Brigette Davis, Children First’s Director of Training and Quality Assurance.
The collaboration between Children First and SCF will be advantageous to students at both organizations. Children First focuses on comprehensive and high-quality early childhood education and care for children during the first five years of their lives. Utilizing high-caliber teaching interns will be important in maintaining a quality program. SCF teaching students will have the opportunity to begin their careers in an environment of excellence at Children First.
“Early childhood education is a career that requires a true passion and desire to work with young children. It takes a unique educator who possesses the knowledge, patience and stamina to teach in the early childhood education classroom,” said April Fleming, Ed.D, SCF’s Director of Early Childhood Educational Programs. “We are currently revising the teaching curriculum, ensuring students are equipped with the skills to adapt in all learning environments. Our goal is to create a culminating experience designed to prepare prospective teachers to be reflective thinkers, knowledgeable and leaders in the field.”
Fleming and Nancy Blackstone, Ph.D., an SCF Adjunct Professor for Early Childhood Education, are working in collaboration with Children First to provide the teaching interns the highest standard of education. State College of Florida’s Early Childhood Education department is devoted to creating a program that will allow early childhood education professionals to receive the recognition and respect they deserve.
About Children First:
Founded in 1961 and ranked in the top 1% out of over 1,800 Head Starts nationwide, Children First strengthens children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health and well-being. At 13 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, and nutrition and health care assistance to children ages birth to five years old from low-income families. Through Children First, the children receive the social and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten and elementary school on track. For more information, call (941) 953-3877 or go to childrenfirst.net.
About State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF):
State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, established in 1957, has campuses in Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Venice, in addition to an online campus. SCF offers quality education, baccalaureate degrees, associate degrees, workforce training and a collegiate school serving grades 6 through 12. SCF is boldly engaging our students, local businesses and community to meet our region’s education and workforce needs. Learn more at SCF.edu.