By Dawn Hatfield
GREENVILLE — The students at Anthony Wayne Early Childhood Center at 4932 Children’s Home Bradford Road, Greenville, have had a very exciting week. Not only have they been celebrating the love of language throughout Seuss Week, but they have celebrated Bingo Night and Grandparents Day while also holding their school-wide book sale.
NationalToday.com describes “Read Across America Week,” commonly called “Seuss Week,” as a celebration from March 2 to 6, beginning on the birthday of the beloved author, Dr. Seuss. “The entire month of March, in fact, is dedicated to reading. The National Education Association aims to encourage reading and educate people about its benefits, especially among children and young adults. Events are organized across the nation by schools and organizations to promote the same,” the website explains.
There may be no better way to encourage the love of reading than to model it for young students. On Tuesday, March 7, several special guest readers were invited to share stories with preschoolers at Anthony Wayne Early Childhood Center. Guests included many staff members from Darke County Educational Service Center (Darke ESC) and beyond: Anthony Wayne Director Jodi Rinehart, Beacon Mental Health Specialist Kelly Harrison, Darke County Sheriff Mark Whittaker, Darke ESC Special Education Supervisor Anita Dehner, and Darke ESC Pupil Service Director Lisa Giuffre.
Sheriff Whittaker visited the students in Ms. Darlene and Ms. Darla’s classroom and read the story, “Wrong Way,” by Mark Macleod. “Sometimes a day out doesn’t go according to plan. But when one little duck wants to make a big splash all by himself, the wrong way to do things turns out to be just right! A charming book about spreading your wings and finding your own way in the world,” reports GoodReads.com. This book captured the attention of the students who were fascinated to watch a real-life superhero, the county sheriff, read this heart-warming story to them.
Ms. Holly, Ms. Lois, and Ms. Stef’s students welcomed Darke ESC Superintendent Atchley to their class, where he shared two stories. First, “Mr. Jim” read “Ten Apples Up On Top!” by Theo. LeSieg, a 1961 classic Beginner Book about some funny animals whose goal is to balance 10 apples atop each of their heads. Using rhyme, fun concepts, and basic vocabulary, Beginner Books are always a great first introduction to reading.
Next, he shared “There’s a Wocket in my Pocket,” a Bright & Early Book® written by the one and only Dr. Seuss, himself, where,“a young boy goes exploring in his house and finds an array of fun characters! Are you certain there’s a Jertain in the curtain? Or have you ever had a feeling there’s a Geeling on the ceiling? [This book] makes young readers eager to explore their homes with the wonders of rhyming and wordplay. Combining brief and funny stories, easy words, catchy rhythm, and lively illustrations, Bright and Early Books are also an ideal way to introduce the joys of reading to children,” reports Amazon.com.
Anthony Wayne, an educational facility with a mission to “offer Darke County families affordable, quality, early childhood education and care as well as to help them prepare for the next step in education,” will begin to take new applications for the 2023-24 school year beginning May 1, 2023. Families may come to the school office to fill out a request form and pick up the registration packet. Packets should then be returned to the Anthony Wayne office by May 31, 2023.
Anthony Wayne Director Jodi Rinehart said, “We serve students who are typically developing as well as those who need special services. We have nine morning and nine afternoon classes.”
Rinehart continued, “The ratio is 8:8, special needs to typically-developing students, so there are about 16 students per room. Every room has a teacher and at least one teacher’s assistant.”
Rinehart volunteered to transition to the role of director from within Darke ESC and expressed experiencing a lot of fulfillment and fun in her new position. In her first year as director, Rinehart has already overseen building improvements and has more planned for the future of Anthony Wayne. With her many years of experience as special education supervisor, she brings a strong vision to the Anthony Wayne Early Childhood Center.
Visit Anthony Wayne Early Childhood Center website at awecc.darkeesc.org for additional information.
Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.