Friday, December 12, 2014

Childcare Emergency Plan Project Recognized

Vol State has once again been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The honor goes to an innovative Service Learning Project that involved many Vol State classes. 

The 2014 roll recognizes 766 institutions nationwide for community service and Service Learning projects. Here is how the Honor Roll is described by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education, Campus Compact, and the Interfaith Youth Core.

“The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships.”

Congrats to faculty members James Brown and Penny Duncan and their students. Their Childcare Emergency Plan project was the one presented for consideration this year. It was one of the largest Service Learning projects ever attempted at Vol State, involving more than fifty students in several Vol State classes. The students prepared emergency planning kits for 25 child care centers in Sumner County. It’s tough for a small business or nonprofit to find the time or expertise needed to develop a plan.

“It’s designed to be tailored to each individual center,” said Duncan. “Child care directors can put in their own maps and their own emergency contact lists. The new standards that just became required last year by the state, include reunification plans, getting kids back with their parents, evacuation procedures and how to work with children with disabilities.”

“The Criminal Justice students provided all of the emergency plans, the evacuation plan, the reunification plan,” said James Brown, Criminal Justice instructor. “The education students prepared the process, to make sure the kids don’t get scared and they have activities to keep them occupied during an emergency. The most important part for the education students was probably the training plan. Without proper training, staff won’t know what to do in an emergency.”

Just a few of the students and their instructors are shown here at a presentation event held for the day care centers last summer.

The plan is available for any interested child care operator in Tennessee to download and print for free, on the Vol State website. Visit www.volstate.edu/EarlyChildhood and then click on “Child Care Emergency Plan.”

Dr. Rick Parrent, Director of Service Learning, points out that this is the second year Vol State has been on the honor roll for Service Learning and community service projects.

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