Devon is a Shining Star in Cumberland County
Devon's family has been a part of Dickinson College Children's Center (DCCC) for 8 years. When deciding on a family and child to nominate, their family came to mind. I nominated Devon D. because I know that her family, like many others we have at the Center, value the quality of care that Devon receives.
To her family the Keystone STARS program is a symbol of excellence, safety, nurturing and exemplifies a place for children to develop and grow. It provides peace of mind to parents while they are at work that their child is well cared for while learning.
The family felt very fortunate to have had their first child, Emma, attend DCCC from infancy through Kindergarten. She continues to attend the summer school-age camp here. However, getting Devon into the Center was a little more difficult. Devon started at the Center just before turning two years old. They hoped that she would experience some of what Emma experienced at DCCC in conjunction with the Keystone STARS program.
During Devon's first year here at DCCC the parents found all of the teachers and staff at the center to be attentive, nurturing and encouraging to all of the children. However, the Yellow Bee teachers were very instrumental in helping Devon come out of her shell. They were faced with a challenge within Devon's first year at DCCC when she broke her leg and was in a cast for several weeks. Her teachers were patient, kind and accommodating under the difficult scenario presented. Together the three of them faced struggles while they worked together through that difficult time. Devon was a little shy, timid and fearful of strangers when she first started at DCCC. With the encouragement of her teachers and other staff members, she has developed into quite a confident individual. She has learned life skills, including patience, listening skills, sharing, confidence and independence. In addition, in a no-pressure environment, the children learn the fundamental basics of education.
Family is key when working in child care. It is through the relationship with the family, the child learns to trust and eventually learning the importance of our relationship with them. Having Devon and her family a part of our Center has been a wonderful experience. Communication and support have been vital pieces that help us work together as a team. Devon's parents stated that they have been involved in both of their girls' education. DCCC encourages family involvement with events where parents and grandparents are invited, bi-annual conferences and an open door policy as issues arise.
The STARS program continues to guide our program in a number of areas and is an important component to our success as a center. Devon continues to grow and be successful in an environment structured through the use of the ECERS (Environmental Scale) and activities implemented by true professionals in the field.
Gina VanKirk, Director, Dickinson College Children's Center, Cumberland County