“It takes a big heart to shape little minds,” and “teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning,” are two quotes that come to mind, regarding our early childhood education teachers. They deserve applause for the work they do with the children in our community and in CCCR’s programs. Keeping these thoughts in mind, the perfect opportunity presented itself to CCCR this past year to thank all of the teachers who work tirelessly to provide the best early education for our children.
The write-up below includes the names of the winners, a special award, and a little history about the event and other information. Take a moment and read this wonderful news that will surely make you feel proud of our teachers! Then, scroll down and see some photos from the event.
The Apple Blossom Awards Luncheon, held on April 1, 2017 at the Vineyards Country Club, recognized and celebrated early childhood teachers and professionals who educate, care and inspire the children of Collier County. About 130 attendees, the majority of whom were early childhood educators, attended. This year was the first year that Collier Child Care Resources (CCCR), a Collier County based nonprofit organization which operates four early childhood education centers and provides training for early learning professionals, conducted the event. The Naples Alliance for Children (NAFC) which dissolved last year, were the originators of the annual event, which has been held for 20 years.
Yamila Jach from A Step Up Early Childhood Development Center, won as CCCR Teacher of the Year; Dignorah Ledo Diaz of Fun Time Academy was named Preschool Teacher of the Year; and Amanda Martinez of The Guadalupe Center received Infant/Toddler Teacher of the Year award. A special award, the Myra Shapiro Early Childhood Leadership Award, was presented to Myra Shapiro who was recognized for her lifetime achievements and as leader of the Naples Alliance for Children for 20 years.
The keynote speaker, Vance Aloupis, CEO of The Children’s Movement of Florida, addressed the topic, “The state of early learning and why we need to build a movement for children in Florida.” Aloupis praised the teachers and said that they each deserve recognition for their contributions in helping to develop a strong foundation for lifetime learning in young children.
Niccole Howard, Executive Director of Collier Child Care Resources said, “CCCR considers it a privilege to continue NAFC’s Apple Blossom Awards. These annual awards underscore the importance of each and every one of our early childhood education teachers and the far-reaching, positive influence they have in shaping young children’s minds and attitudes toward learning and getting along in the world.”
To see more photos, visit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/collierchildcare/photos/?ref=page_internal
Niccole Howard, Yamila Jach, from A Step Up Early Child Development Center at Golden Gate High School, CCCR Teacher of the Year
Amanda Martinez, Infant/Toddler Teacher of the Year, from The Guadalupe Center, Niccole Howard and Hedy Pearlman
Niccole Howard, Dignorah Ledo Diaz, Preschool Teacher of the Year, from Fun Time Early Childhood Academy, and Hedy Pearlman
Vance Aloupis, keynote speaker and CEO of The Children’s Movement of Florida