Teacher from Edison Child Care Center earns honor
A voluntary pre-kindergarten teacher from the Edison State College Child Care Center received the Outstanding Member Award from the Lee County affiliate of the Florida Association for the Education of Young Children earlier this month.
Lee County Association for the Education of Young Children President JoAnne Fuciu said the local affiliate chose Zani Raney as the winner for multiple reasons. Raney has held several offices over the years within the association, she was one of the individuals that began the Lee County affiliate several years ago, trains others involved in the association and she is a mentor for other early childhood providers.
The award was presented to Raney at an annual conference held in Orlando. She is the first member of the Florida Association for the Education of Young Children who was presented with an award from the Lee County affiliate. The award is presented once a year to one individual who has had a vital role in the local association.
Raney has taught early childhood for 21 years. She joined the staff at Edison State College in 2003, where she teaches 20 students, who are 4 and 5-years-old, with Maureen McCormick.
“We do a lot of playing, singing and reading and writing,” Raney said. “We learn a lot.”
The award provided her with a sense of validation for the work she has done. Raney said it was nice to have her work noticed by the local affiliate.
Edison State College Child Care Center Director Martha Kebhart said
the local affiliate nominated Raney for the award because of her dedication to education.
“We are so very proud of Zani and what she has accomplished,” she said in a prepared statement. “She has been a valuable asset to Child Care of Southwest Florida for many years. We are delighted to see her get the recognition she deserves.”
Fuciu said an Advocate Award was also provided to Gayla Thompson, who works for the Early Learning Coalition. Thompson was chosen, Fuciu said, because she makes sure the teachers know what resources are available to them and is a real advocate for the people who take care of children.
Child Care of Southwest Florida is a non-profit organization that provides services for 700 children from infancy to 12 years of age at six child care centers in Lee and Hendry counties.The Lee County affiliate has more than 100 members.
“We stand for young children and the people who take care of the young children,” Fuciu said. “We are advocating for professionalism in early childhood and that is what we strive for.”
The Child Care Center, which is operated by Child Care of Southwest Florida Inc., is located at the Lee County campus of Edison State College. The center is licensed and has the facility to care for a total of 139 children between the ages of 1 to 5 years of age.