The officers of Lee County Port Authority won the hearts of children, parents and staff when they delivered 30 donated state-of-the-art e-learning tablets to the Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center. Once received, teachers at this Child Care of Southwest Florida early learning facility were eager to put the tablets to work in the classroom to enhance students’ readiness of technology-based academics.
The Lee County Port Authority officers have become trusted neighbors and friends of the Messina Center, located at 4650 Fowler Street in Fort Myers. Officers frequently stop by the learning center to visit students and staff during routine safety checks. Students have learned to trust law enforcement officers and respect the work they do for our community. For the last several years, the law enforcement agency has donated food for families and toys for students around the holidays. This year they went above and beyond to donate the tablets.
The mission of Child Care of Southwest Florida is to enhance the lives of children and their families through quality early childhood education and related services. Throughout 2016, teachers and administrators had reviewed the latest research regarding the use of developmentally appropriate electronic devices by young children, and were eager to realize the benefits. Nabi tablets were quickly placed on the center’s wish list.
Messina Center Director Tamara Aronson said, “When the Port Authority asked us how they could help this year, the tablets were top of mind. This generous gift has already had a demonstrable effect on teachers’ ability to observe, measure and promote student achievement.”
After the officers delivered the tablets, teacher Kimberly Molloy got to work setting parental permission controls on the tablets and installing apps, games and content that support classroom lesson plans and allow safe self-directed exploration by the students for a limited amount of time each day.
Molloy said, “When the younger students bridge over to elementary school, they will be expected to be familiar with computers for research, projects and testing. Confidence about typing and the other tasks they will be asked to perform on an electronic device gives the students a distinct advantage from day one.”
The Messina Center says the electronic tablets will be a valuable classroom tool for years to come.
Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc.
Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc. runs six early learning centers that have been accredited by the National Accrediting Council. It helps child care centers qualify for, administer and maintain USDA Child Care Food Programs to provide for the nutritional requirements of early childhood. To ensure the best possible care of children, it also provides DCF Introductory Child Care Training classes and competency exams to promote the continuing education of teachers and other educational professionals. Sponsorship, volunteer and donation opportunities are available to the public. For more information, visit www.ccswfl.org.