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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Celebrate the Opening of New Early Learning "Brain Food" Project

By Mirna Chamorro

December 04, 2019

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Celebrate Opening of New Early Learning “Brain Food” Project at the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County In Partnership with the Early Learning Coalition of Seminole

SANFORD, Florida On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, at 11 a.m., the Early Learning Coalition of Seminole (ELC of Seminole) alongside the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County (DOH-Seminole) will celebrate the opening of its “Brain Food Project” with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The ceremony will take place at the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County, located at 400 West Airport Blvd. Sanford, FL 32773. The Brain Food Project includes ‘learn as you play’ activities and toys accompanied by signage and literature showcasing easy tips for parents to boost brain development as they interact with their children. “Brain Food” activities and parent tips are located throughout three patient waiting room areas.

The Brain Food Project is intended to create and promote meaningful early learning opportunities and parent/child interactions while educating caregivers about their role as their child’s first teacher. The tips and activities are specifically geared toward young children to help grow awareness that by the age of five, 90 percent of a child’s brain has already developed.

Last year, the two organizations collaborated to conceive a creative way to leverage the idle time spent by children and caregivers as they wait for their doctor or dentist appointments. This is the first partnership of its type in Seminole County, however, Jennifer Grant, Chief Executive Officer of the Early Learning Coalition of Seminole says the potential to duplicate the idea in other facilities is something she hopes to see happen very soon.

“The Early Learning Coalition recognizes that parents are a child's first and most important teacher. We are excited to partner with DOH-Seminole to reach even more families with young children to ensure that they have the knowledge and support to grow through healthy habits and playful interactions,” says Mrs. Grant.

Donna Walsh, Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County says, “We are excited to once again partner with the Early Learning Coalition of Seminole on this innovative way to provide facilitated educational opportunities for parents to interact with their children while waiting for their appointment and learn about making healthy changes together. These engaging interactive “Brain Food” modules placed throughout our facility are another tool to promote health literacy and provide meaningful health and wellness educational experiences for parents, guardians and their children.”

According to the Healthy People 2020 guidelines, healthy development in early childhood helps prepare children for the educational experiences of kindergarten and beyond and are key determinants of future health and well–being.

The ELC of Seminole and DOH-Seminole shared fifty-percent of the project costs, and the Coalition is providing tablets to offer families the ability to sign-up for or learn more about free screenings and help with affording child care.

About the Early Learning Coalition of Seminole

The Coalition is a 501 c (3) nonprofit charitable organization created out of legislation in 1999 for the purpose of giving all Florida children access to quality early learning. Today, we continue to further our mission by providing over 4,000 Seminole County children with access to Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) and an average of 2,000 families with financial assistance for child care through the School Readiness program, each year.

In 2019, nearly 1,400 Seminole County children have received free vision and hearing screenings through the Coalition. And by contracting with over 150 child care centers the ELC of Seminole is also one of Seminole County’s major economic drivers — circulating millions of taxpayers’ dollars back into the community.

ELC of Seminole is proud to say it is a Heart of Florida United Way funded organization. The Coalition depends on the support of individuals, corporations and foundations to create generational change through early learning. To learn more about our $1 for $1 Match Program or how you can partner with the Early Learning Coalition of Seminole, visit: www.seminoleearlylearning.org or call Cheyenne McGregor, Director of Grants and Communications at 407-960-2462.

Sponsored by the Early Learning Coalition of Seminole and the State of Florida, Office of Early Learning.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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