Three board members from Naples Chapter of WWI…V.P. Hanne (Froystad) Monostory, Treasurer Mary Grace Naylor, and Co-President Leilani (Jones) Pierce… were invited to Fun Time Academy for lunch, and a complete and impressive tour by Executive Director, Barbara Tyrrell and Board Member, Lynn Nolan. 

Director Emeritus Maureen O’Gorman had previously reached out to acquaint WWI Naples Co-president, Fleur Lawrence and myself with this program. Hanne, Mary and I concluded that this is an EXCELLENT program in every way…verified by our observation that these pre-schoolers are already fine citizens!

“The Fun Time Early Childhood Academy, Inc” is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that has been open in Collier County, FL since 1961. It’s mission is to provide safe, quality, affordable education and care for children of low-income working families; and to prepare the children for kindergarten, ready to read and ready to learn.

With 6 classrooms, they accept 96 children on a year-round basis; open from 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM to accommodate the parent’s work schedules. Healthy meals and snacks are served. It uses a skills-based, instructional delivery system – a mentor initiative that works with students to teach and practice formal, Standard English and proper conversational skills. 

The Early Literacy and Learning Model with Florida Gulf Coast U. and Florida Institute of Education increases instruction in reading by one extra hour a day for at-risk children. Library access provides books for children at school and to take home. 

Among other things, we can volunteer to read to the children, donate, attend the annual GALA, and organize an event. 

PATCH is a new program: Parents Actively Teaching their Children at Home; recognizing parents’ role as a child’s first teacher…it also assists parents in developing basic skills to secure gainful employment.

As educators, donors, volunteers, tutors, and friends of Fun Time Families, we are one of the “squares” in the patchwork of their lives.

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