News about Early Childhood Education

Children’s Learning Center Receives Keystone Stars Grants

Children who attend the Dunham Children’s Learning Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology select books to take home and call their own during a Book Bingo event at the center. The books are purchased through a Keystone Stars grant.

The Dunham Children’s Learning Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology received $34,600 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Human Services through the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

The funding comes in the form of a Keystone Stars Merit Award of $12,675 and a Keystone Stars Education and Retention Award of $21,925.

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Grant Provides Reduced Child Care Fees for Income-Eligible Students

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Dunham Children’s Learning Center received a $103,923 CCAMPIS grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help reduce child care fees for eligible students.

CCAMPIS stands for Child Care Access Means Parents in School. The funding helps the Children’s Learning Center, which provides high-quality child care for the children of Penn College students and employees, to provide discounts to students whose children are enrolled at the center and whose income makes them eligible for federal Pell Grants. Reductions range from 25 to 75 percent off Children’s Learning Center fees, based on a student’s income as reported to the college’s Financial Aid Office.

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Child’s Play Takes ‘Center’ Stage

Children are entranced by Kamin's talent.

Two end-of-semester events capped another fun-filled and instructive year at the Dunham Children’s Learning Center: The Penn College facility’s annual Family Appreciation get-together – in which children made turkey headbands and prepared snacks that were appropriately “gobbled” up – and a visit from mime Dan Kamin, who was in town for a holiday appearance with the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra.

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Education Secretary Impressed by Visit to Penn College

Before enjoying lunch in the Dunham Children’s Learning Center, Rivera shows children the photo he took of them on his cellphone (and shared via Twitter).

Rivera and college President Davie Jane Gilmour check out the Centennial art installation, “Student Bodies,” during a leisurely stroll on the campus mall.

In the college’s welding labs, David R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies, discusses the discipline’s career opportunities.

During a roundtable discussion, area educational representatives share insights.

The president and secretary discuss Penn College's collaborative efforts with Lycoming College and area school districts.

State Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera visited main campus on Thursday, touring the Dunham Children’s Learning Center and Penn College’s welding labs before joining area education luminaries for a panel discussion about “Schools That Teach.” The former superintendent of the School District of Lancaster later tweeted his favorable review of his afternoon:  “Great visit @PennCollege. Engaging & dedicated faculty and staff. Smiling faces & creative projects. Impressive!”

Keystone STARS Funding Supports Early Childhood Facility

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Robert & Maureen Dunham Children’s Learning Center received a Keystone STARS Merit Award and a Keystone STARS Education and Retention Award totaling $37,452 for 2015-16.

Funds from the grants are used for equipment and supplies, professional development for Children’s Learning Center staff, and the center’s accreditation costs.

The center used grant funds to purchase teaching materials and furnishings, including a sensory table, dramatic play props, and equipment to help develop motor skills, as well as materials for cognition, social studies, math, science, literacy, nutrition and music.

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‘Kite Day’ Takes Children on Literary Flight of Fancy

Who says kids have short attention spans?

Hillebrand interacts with CLC youngsters during a fun-filled hour.

Valerie L. Fessler, director of annual giving, and her daughter, Alice, share the magic of storytelling.

Getting involved at an early age!

Siblings Colton and Kaylee Styers with the tale of Mole and Bear, who make a kite and find themselves on a windy-day adventure.

Author and illustrator Will Hillebrand visited Penn College’s Dunham Children’s Learning Center on Friday, part of this year’s “One Book, Every Young Child” initiative to encourage preschool development of literacy development in preschoolers. The center’s children, joined by families and early childhood education students at the college, each received a copy of “Kite Day.” The local visit was arranged through James V. Brown Library; “One Book, Every Young Child” is made possible through a collaboration of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Please Touch Museum, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Library Association, Pennsylvania Center for the Book, Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children, Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children and The Pennsylvania Child Care Association. This project is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as administered through the DoE’s Office of Commonwealth Libraries.
Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer

Center’s Children Prepare Snacks for Annual Appreciation Tea

Family Appreciation Tea held at Dunham Children's Learning Center

The Dunham Children’s Learning Center recently celebrated the end of the semester, as families joined their children for an afternoon snack during the Family Appreciation Tea. The young toddler class made Pumpkin Pie in a Cup, the older toddler class prepared a cereal snack mix, and preschoolers learned about measuring and baking while preparing oatmeal cookies and banana bread. “The food was so delicious that parents asked for recipes!” said director Barbara J. Albert, who also provided the photo at left. Teachers prepared activities for the families, and students from the Early Childhood Education program supervised them. Children had fun making paper-plate pumpkins, playing a beanbag game and experimenting with “squishy” bags. Each family contributed a handprint “leaf” to the center’s Thankful Tree, highlighting the people and things for which they’re grateful.

Penn College Early Educators’ Outreach Benefits Children

Early childhood students Khloe L. Musser (left), of Lemont, and Megan E. McCaslin, of Williamsport, display 72 boxes of children’s items collected by the Early Educators club as part of the Jared Box Project, which aims to uplift the spirits of children in hospitals.

The Early Educators student organization at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently completed three service projects benefiting children.

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Federal Grant Helps Student-Parents Pay for On-Campus Child Care

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Robert & Maureen Dunham Children’s Learning Center received a grant that will help subsidize the cost of child care for eligible parents who are pursuing higher education at the college.

The CCAMPIS grant, which stands for Child Care Access Means Parents in School, is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Its purpose is to support the participation of low-income parents in postsecondary education through the provision of campus-based child care services. Penn College will receive $102,042 for 2015-16.

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College Receives Funding Aimed at School Readiness for Children

Pennsylvania College of Technology has received a $10,766 grant to align its early childhood education curriculum with recently revised Pennsylvania Core Knowledge Competencies for early childhood and school-age professionals.

The college has entered a one-year contract with Berks County Intermediate Unit, the fiscal agent for the Pennsylvania Key, which provides statewide leadership in coordinating early childhood education, quality improvements to programs and professional-development support. The Pennsylvania Key operates in conjunction with the Office of Child Development and Early Learning, which is jointly overseen by the state Department of Human Services and the state Department of Education.

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Early Educator Association Honors Penn College Lab Assistant

Jodi L. Binkley, early childhood education lab assistant at Penn College, receives the Outstanding Early Educator Award from the Central Susquehanna Association for the Education of Young Children at its 20th annual conference.

Jodi L. Binkley, of South Williamsport, received the Outstanding Early Educator Award from the Central Susquehanna Association for the Education of Young Children at its 20th annual conference, held recently in Penn’s Inn in the Bush Campus Center on the campus of Pennsylvania College of Technology.

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Banquet Celebrates Imminent Grads’ Proven Career Readiness

Early childhood graduates celebrate with mentors

Nearly 40 people attended the annual Spring Early Childhood Practicum Banquet, held recently in the Thompson Professional Development Center. The event honored Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 graduates of Penn College’s early childhood education associate-degree major and director’s competency credential, as well as the students’ practicum supervising teachers from child care centers and Head Start programs in Lycoming, Clinton, Centre and Union counties. Billie A. Coffman, associate professor of early childhood education and practicum adviser (first row, far right), offered greetings to the group and thanked the supervising teachers for the important role they play in the guidance and mentorship of each student in the practicum experience. In addition to Coffman, others on hand to honor the students’ success were (from far left) Jennifer I. Watson, adjunct early childhood education faculty, Karen Woland Payne, adjunct practicum adviser, and Nancy A. Grausam, assistant professor of early childhood education; Barbara J. Albert, director of the college’s Dunham Children’s Learning Center (center, in floral jacket), and Jodi L. Binkley, early childhood lab assistant (upper right).
Photo provided

Bibs Wrap Up Early Educators’ Year

Early Educators Club provides "Bibs for Babies."

Penn College students' handmade help accepted at local high school.

Through a “Bibs for Babies” project, three members of Penn College’s Early Educators Club delivered handmade bibs and burp cloths to a parenting class at Williamsport Area High School. Accepting the bibs on behalf of the class, which is offered through Susquehanna Health, was high school student Elizabeth Kilburn. From left in accompanying photo are Katlynn M. Peck, of Thompsontown; Kilburn; Brittany M. Ottenmiller, of Troy, and Brooke C. Smith, of Doylestown. Peck will graduate this month with her Associate of Applied Science degree in early childhood education. Ottenmiller and Smith will return in the fall as sophomores in the early childhood education major. Other end-of-academic-year activities enjoyed by the club were a science fair at George A. Ferrell Elementary School in Picture Rocks and a visit to a preschool and a Montessori school in State College.
Photos provided by Jodi L. Binkley, early childhood lab assistant

Early Childhood Faculty Member Serves as Peer Reviewer

Billie A. Coffman

Billie A. Coffman, associate professor of early childhood education at Pennsylvania College of Technology, was recently asked by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Postsecondary and Adult Education, to serve on a peer review team to evaluate another college’s proposed child care professional associate-degree program.

As a peer reviewer, Coffman was responsible for evaluating the course content in the degree program, reviewing all of the course syllabi and faculty credentials, and submitting a final report with recommendations for approval of the program.

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Year’s Early Childhood Grads Feted at PDC

Early childhood students celebrate at practicum get-together.

Nearly 40 people attended Wednesday night’s practicum banquet for 2013-14 graduates of Penn College’s associate-degree early childhood education major and the early childhood director’s competency credential. Among those gathering in the Thompson Professional Development Center to honor the students’ success were Billie A. Coffman, associate professor of early childhood education and practicum adviser for the two-year major (fourth from right), and Nancy A. Grausam, assistant professor of early childhood education (left). Not pictured is Karen Woland Payne, former director of the college’s Dunham Children’s Learning Center, practicum adviser to students in the director’s credential.
Photo provided by Jodi L. Binkley, early childhood lab assistant (third from right)