Kellie’s Kindergarten Prep is a large child care center in rural Lee, Florida. Dawn Phillips, director of the center, manages to do a lot for the children with very limited funds. “With the limited funding that we had previously, we enhanced our materials for indoor play time. But we were in great need of supplies for our playground. We had a mud kitchen and a few balls, but not enough for everyone. We were very limited in what we could do,” said Dawn.
Dawn was inspired to do more outdoor physical activity with the children after a presentation given by staff of Titus Human Performance at last year’s roundtable sponsored by Nemours and other community partners. “We do things like a good morning stretches, high knees, and ear-to-pocket movements that we learned at the roundtable. Still, we wanted to do more,” Dawn explained.
Through a $500 stipend awarded through Nemours, a variety of portable physical activity equipment was purchased for the program. A kit of materials was purchased that included hula hoops, balls, scoops, flying discs, sliders, and shape spots. “The kit made it easy to get a variety of equipment for the children at low cost,” said Dawn.
The children pair up and play freely with the materials, making up their own games. Teachers are actively involved with the children during outdoor play time, helping children learn various motor skills, like coordination. Even children with disabilities are involved and active during play time. For example, one child with Down’s has learned how to hop with the help of the different sized hula hoops laying on the ground.
“The teachers like the materials and the children ask to play with them,” said Dawn. “The outdoor play time helps with the children’s behavior and the materials keep them more organized on the playground. They are learning a lot too, such as how to partner with someone and how to get along with each other. This has been a very positive addition to our program.”
Information provided by interview with:
Director, Kellies’ Kindergarten Prep
380 SE Corinth Church
Lee, Florida 32059