Pint-sized graduates receive a noble applause
For the last 37 years, a dedicated staff at Florence Fuller Child Development Centers (FFCDC) in Boca Raton have worked to ensure that their graduates begin elementary school as socially capable and academically ready students.
To help support the FFCDC programs, Publix Super Market Charities recently made a donation of $8,000 toward an early literacy program that will help eliminate the achievement gap so prevalent among children from low-income families.
At their graduation ceremony, held in the University Theater at Florida Atlantic University, the 2008 FFCDC graduates celebrated with songs, recitals and thanks for their teachers and parents. The event emcee was Yrvens Guerrier, a teacher in the FFCDC Head Start program for 4-year-old students. The guests were welcomed by children in nine different languages – English, Creole, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Italian, Arabic, Wollof and sign language-- but the highlight of the event was an emotional rendition by the children of Whitney Houston’s Greatest Love of All.
Earlier in the summer, many students had an opportunity to visit their kindergarten classroom, meet teachers and even experience the school cafeteria. Director of Education, Deborah Sutton said, “Our teachers work hard to prepare students for a lifetime of positive education. We want our children to feel comfortable in elementary school, confident that they are ready for the challenges that lie ahead.”
Some of the graduates will retain their links with FFCDC, returning as participants in the Florence Fuller after-school program lead by Rebecca Moore, who was the 2008 Year Book honoree, recognizing 20 years of dedicated service. The goal of the after-school program is to develop character and personal growth in a safe, supervised environment, while providing academic support and enrichment activities including art, music, dance, scouting, karate, environmental projects, crafts, trips, and cooking classes.
For more information, visit www.ffcdc.org.
Doug Paton, left, and Bradley Bernadeau