Fun Time Early Childhood Academy sure did feel the love in the month of February. Our 2022 Let’s Get Wild Safari Gala grossed a historic $450,000, surpassing all other fundraising events in our 61-year history. That is a testament to the generous support of the underwriters, sponsors and donors. The event was a huge success, and we are excited to continue to provide quality education for children of low-income families and expand services for children in Collier County. The important work we do to prepare children for kindergarten would not be possible without the generosity of so many individuals and organizations in our community. Check out our press release below!
Safari Gala . . . Let's Get Wild!
On Thursday, February 17, Fun Time held its annual fundraising event, The Safari Gala . . . Let’s Get Wild! Guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions and a special presentation. Fun Time raised an historic gross total of over $450,000! Thank you to all our donors and patrons for making this years event an incredible success!
Click here for a gallery of images from the Safari Gala.
Center Closures
Did you know that 15 childcare centers have closed since the start of COVID pandemic? Read this article to learn about the most recent center to close: Naples News Article

Check out our 2020-2021 Annual Impact Report to see how Fun Time continued to provide quality, affordable educational programming during the COVID pandemic.
Give Where You Live Collier
Fun Time raised over $31,000 in this year’s Give Where You Live Collier. This 24-hour giving challenge was sponsored and matched by The Community Foundation of Collier County and the Ronald M. Schulze Family Foundation. Thanks to the generosity of the community, we can continue to provide quality, affordable education to our children and families. 
Staff Development
For our February staff development focus, teachers received behavior intervention training from Jenn Schaaff, a behavior specialist at ABLE Academy. The goals were for teachers to increase skills, decrease disruptive behavior, and help children with social and emotional stress.

Teachers also learned about the quality of the feedback that they provide the children. Specific strategies such as scaffolding, feedback loops and prompting thought processes were shared. It is important to get children to think about their ideas and responses and to explain their thinking. One way this can be accomplished is to ask open-ended questions, thereby giving the children an active role in their thinking about “why” and “how do you know.” Research is clear that teaching children to describe what is going on inside their minds will help them be aware of language and thoughts as well as the overall thought process. 

At our last early-release day, teachers had the opportunity to bring in dishes that represents their various cultures. We talked about the dishes they brought in and, staff members shared interesting facts about their countries. 
Welcome Our Newest Staff Members
Analiz Perez is one our newest staff members at Fun Time. Analiz is originally from Miami. She graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, her focus since 2015. In her spare time, Analiz enjoys spending time with her family and doing activities outdoors. She is incredibly excited to work at Fun Time Academy!
Jamie Eskridge has been in early childhood education since 1996 and has many years of experience as a teacher and director. She has an associate’s degree in early education, her CDA and director credential. Jamie received a National Accreditation Commission (NAC) quality programming accreditation at her previous childhood center before joining us at Fun Time. Jamie loves to spend time with her family–three “almost-grown” children. In her spare time, Jamie likes to be outdoors, whether camping, Jeep riding or going to the beach. 
Parent Involvement
Parent Teacher Conferences
During the month of February, teachers conducted parent-teacher conferences to share how the children are progressing at school and how parents can help at home. 
Love and Literacy
February’s Family Involvement event was all about Love and Literacy! Children and families had the opportunity to participate in Valentine’s Day-themed activities that focused on letters and sounds. They enjoyed a craft and some cookies too.
Valentine's Day
Thanks to Christ Child Society of Naples, our students enjoyed a fresh strawberry snack, cookies and a strawberry toss game. All students had a chance to practice their gross motor skills while tossing mini strawberries into a box. The children went home with stuffed animals and books to add to their at-home libraries.
Family Nutrition: Play More, Sit Less
Did you know that getting more than two hours of screen time each day can cause problems and harm children? Issues might include short attention spans, poorer reading skills and sleeping poorly or feeling tired. This month parents learned about different ways to replace screen time with active play by being role models for their children. Setting goals can help to make changes and increase physical activity. Good goals to set include becoming more aware of the amount of screen time, making lists of outdoor activities to enjoy and checking one off each day, and choosing one night of the week to be “screen time night.” More active playtime and less screen time help build strong, healthy families! Parents went home with a workbook and a MyPlate to encourage other nutrition tips that they’d learned.
In The Classroom
Love is in the air at Fun Time! This month the children learned about the value of friendship and feeling loved. They learned about kindness, using nice words, kind hands and helpful actions. Part of our learning objectives are for children to show increased curiosity, be eager to learn new things and have new experiences in the classroom. We engaged children in kindness activities so that they can develop persistence in attending to tasks while learning about friendships, with the goal of building and maintaining relationships with adults and peers. 
The two-year-olds in Room 5 had a beautiful Friends Forever
sensory art display of the children practicing these important Link
There was also a focus on dental and oral health, with instruction on dental health and how to take care of their teeth. They also talked about the importance of going to the dentist and keeping their teeth healthy. The Florida Early Learning Standards have a Physical Development Domain on health and well-being. Personal care routines include children ages 2 to 3 being able to carry out steps on their own personal hygiene routines with adult guidance, demonstration and reminders. Children ages 3 and up should be able to carry out familiar hygiene routines with occasional reminders or even initiate and complete hygiene routines independently.

At Fun Time, we provide high-quality general health, oral health, mental health and nutrition services that are developmentally, culturally and linguistically appropriate and that will support each child’s growth and school readiness. The standards and benchmarks we use reflect the knowledge and skills that a child on a developmental trajectory (progression) should know and be able to do at the end of the age-related time frame.
Thank You to Ace Hardware!
Thank you to Michael Wynn of Sunshine Ace Hardware for donating 13 new bulletin boards. We are so grateful for your handyman crew who worked hard all day to get them installed so that our teachers can display student work.
Get Involved with Fun Time!
Our children love interacting with our volunteers to read stories, complete academic activities and even head outside to our garden. If you are interested in volunteering, call us!

Want to help support our mission? Click here to view our Amazon wish list. Fun Time staff appreciate having a variety of books and academic toys to help support children in their development.
Take A Tour
Want to learn more about Fun Time and see our friendly, nurturing environment firsthand? You can view learning in action for each age group, hear about our curriculum, see our beautiful campus, and get answers to any questions you have. We just ask you wear a mask if unvaccinated.

Contact: Becca Mysels (239)261-8284 bmysels@funtimeacademy.orgk