Early Learning Centers recognizes Champions for Children honorees

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(Photo from Early Learning Centers of Lubbock, Inc.)

LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) — The following is a news release from the Early Learning Centers of Lubbock, Inc.:

The Early Learning Centers 2020 Champions for Children fundraiser has been cancelled for this year; however, we are still celebrating the fantastic Honorees!

Teacher of Young Children in a Childcare: Monica Pendgraft, Center Director at New Directions Early Learning Center. Ms. Pendgraft has worked at New Directions for 24 years. She works very closely with the young children at her center as well as their parents who are attending LISD and the LISD administrative staff to coordinate activities for the children and their parents and ensure that everyone who needs help is getting what they need. Ms. Pendgraft has a passion for the children at her center you don’t see often and certainly not consistently for over 24 years!

Teacher of Young Children in an ISD: Andrea McCallister, 1st Grade Teacher at Lubbock-Cooper ISD. Ms. McCallister’s passion for her students can clearly be seen in the classroom but she takes it much further than that. She can frequently be found cheering her students on at extracurricular events as well. She said wants her students to know she supports them in and out of school. This extra she gives helps her students bloom and clear many obstacles to help them be the best students they can be.

Robbie McGrew Memorial Award: Jeremy Cares, Literacy Lubbock’s Tiny Tots Read A Lot! volunteer. Mr. Cares wants to inspire children as they begin their path towards reading and what better way than to read to 75 exuberant toddlers and then give them each a copy of the book! Mr. Cares not only reads the book each week to the children, he also teaches them songs which often include an educational component for building listening skills and following directions, he also sings funny songs that require mirroring his talk and actions and recalling characters from the book read that day. He helps teach the children that reading is fun and important.

Champion for Children Award: Eddy Morelock, former President of the Lubbock ISD PTA Council. Mr. Morelock organized and installed 31 Free Little Libraries on various Lubbock ISD campuses over two years. Free Little Libraries are a way for students to have books even when the schools are closed. They can read and return the books or they can keep the books. All LISD middle schools, 2 high schools and 9 elementary schools currently have Free Little Libraries thanks to Mr. Morelock. Phyllis Underwood, with LISD, said, “Eddy has a heart for education, a heart for Lubbock ISD and certainly the desire to encourage reading for students of all ages.” Mr. Morelock not only orchestrated the building of these libraries with the principals and others but he also literally dug the post sites and helped install the libraries himself!

The Champions for Children fundraiser is the only fundraiser Early Learning Centers of Lubbock holds each year. The funds raised help to keep the cost affordable to all families. Fees are determined using a sliding fee scale based on each family’s household income and frequently scholarships are available. Each center is licensed by the state and Texas Rising Star Certified to provide quality, educational childcare and prepare the children for Kindergarten. For more information please call 806-765-9981.

(News release from the Early Learning Centers of Lubbock, Inc.)

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