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Family child care providers’ field trip to the Brooklyn Historical Society

Learning is timeless
New York Teacher
Jonathan Fickies

Providers (from left) Beverly Wilkes-Bishop, Jontae’ Tinto and ShaQuora James first had to guess what the object is (a colonial-era butter churn) and then discussed how they would talk about and use it with the children in their care.

Providers Wiles (left) and Keilyn Arauz of Brooklyn write with quill pens made f
Jonathan Fickies

Providers Wiles (left) and Keilyn Arauz of Brooklyn write with quill pens made from straws and ink created from blackberries, vinegar and salt.

More than 50 UFT family child care providers took a step back in time when they visited the Brooklyn Historical Society on Dec. 3 for a hands-on professional development workshop where they churned cream into butter, made ink from blackberries and created felted crafts from raw wool. The Brooklyn Heights museum, built in 1863 and maintained in pristine condition, was the ideal venue for the workshop, which began with providers handling and discussing toys and tools from colonial days. The outing was the first field trip for providers who are working on their child development associate (CDA) credential, a 120-hour national accreditation, which the UFT is offering free to eligible members. “This CDA program opens a world of possibilities for our members, the children in their care and their parents,” said Tammie Miller, the chair of the UFT Family Child Care Providers Chapter. Laymonique Wiles, a family child care provider in the Bronx, said her students will love the projects. “Everything I learn here, I’ll do with my kids,” she said, adding that what she passes on will stay with them their entire lives because “our memories go back to our childhood, to the simplest things.” Connie Osavio, a provider in Queens, plans to use the felting project in her daycare to make round beads for necklaces and to help teach counting. “It’s not only good for gross- and fine-motor skills, it also helps brain development,” she said. Osavio said she’s appreciative that the UFT offers the program. “The more we know, the more we can teach the kids!” she said. Noreen Griffith, a provider in Canarsie, Brooklyn, said, “I’m really happy to be molding young minds.” The CDA program, she said, “makes you better equipped, able to work at a higher level as a provider and it’s a credential recognized in all 50 states.” 

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