We couldn’t be happier to start the 2022-2023 school year. We worked hard over the summer to ensure continuous progress and transition the children to their new classrooms. We’re excited to provide all the support that our children need to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes that lead to their success throughout their school years as well as later in life. As we all know, physical, cognitive and social development skills are essential for school readiness. Children’s development of values, learning skills and social skills begins at birth. At our quality early learning center, we use the Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards to support children’s growth in all developmental areas including academic, physical, language, and social-emotional skills. Standards set the knowledge and skills that a child should acquire and be able to demonstrate at the end of an age-related timeframe.
Our teachers participated in professional learning sessions to ensure that they apply the Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards when designing lesson plans for our children. Teachers had the opportunity to map out the first two months of the school year. All families engaged in a parent orientation on ways to help their children have a successful year and were given a survey to determine how we can support them in future family engagement activities. We know that it is going to be a great year!
Gulfshore Business 40 Under 40
WINK News Airing 2022 Gulfshore Business 40 Under 40 Special
As Gulfshore Business prepares to honor its 2022 40 Under 40 class, WINK News will air an hour-long special of this 20th annual celebration at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 2, on The CW. The special will honor the Southwest Florida residents who have made outstanding accomplishments in their respective fields as well as contributing to the community by volunteering their time and talent with various organizations. Congratulations to Fun Time board member Alexis Barkis for being recognized for her outstanding accomplishments. We appreciate her commitment to our mission. 
Parent Involvement and Special Events

Welcome Back!
We kicked off the new school year with Parent Orientation to share important handbook information and to get parental input through both conversation and our parent survey. This survey helps us determine what engagement events will be offered throughout the school year based upon parent preferences. We are grateful to our families for their participation and value their input! Our calendar is filling up fast with parent choices of financial literacy, nutrition, math, science and reading as their top event preferences.

We have several community partners whom we collaborate with to bring special events to Fun Time. Watch for our first event later in September! The VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten) children have lessons with C’MON Museum and United Arts Council beginning soon, and there will be a parent engagement meeting with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Department on nutrition. We will have Harry’s Helping Boxes from The Harry Chapin Food Bank available to our families. Each box holds 15 to 20 pounds of nutritious non-perishable food. We anticipate an eventful year with family engagement!
Macy's Book Collection
Macy’s recently held a book drive to collect books for our school. Our Executive Director Jessica Campbell and Education Director Darlene Spano spoke to the employees about Fun Time Academy’s mission and the importance of reading. Reading daily to young children starting at infancy can help with language acquisition, communication skills, social skills and literacy skills. Reading to children stimulates the part of the brain that allows them to understand the meaning of language and helps build key language, literacy and social skills.

These cognitive and critical thinking skills are especially important considering that, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than one in three American children start kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read. About two-thirds of children can’t read proficiently by the end of the third grade. We are proud to prepare children for kindergarten ready to read and ready to learn!
BelieveNBooks
Gold Award Girl Scouts are rock stars, role models and real-life heroes. How do they do it? By using everything they’ve learned as a Girl Scout to either help fix a problem in their community or make a lasting change in their world. Girl Scouts who want to get involved and go for the Gold Award get a team of trusted adults and leaders in their community to guide them through challenges and lead them to success, step by step, and that’s exactly what Natasha did. She wanted to help ensure that children from low-income families have access to books, and she took her project one step further by brainstorming how books could be read aloud to children if needed.
Natasha’s Girl Scout project consisted of putting together bookbags with ten books each and directing them to a YouTube channel that families can access to have the books read aloud to them. We are grateful that she reached out to us to provide our students with this amazing opportunity! We will be offering a family workshop to distribute the bookbags and discuss the importance of early literacy. 

Find out more information about Natasha's mission here.
In The Classroom
The classrooms are buzzing with the excitement of a new school year. Teachers have worked hard to create a warm and welcoming environment for their students. Upon arrival, the children got to explore the classroom and learn where everything was located. They were instructed about the rules at home, at school and in our community and, through these efforts, understood the expectations and appropriate ways of expressing themselves. The teachers emphasized why it is important to follow the rules and how rules help keep us safe. The children are practicing how to work in a group and be responsible for doing jobs in the classroom. They are making new friends and learning how to play by practicing important skills like cooperating, compromising and taking turns. So many life lessons are learned in preschool that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. 
Welcome Our New Staff Member
Welcome Kelitza!
Kelitza Cruz Oliveras and her family have recently moved to Naples from Alaska.  

While in Alaska, Kelitza not only worked in a pre-school but also ran her own in-home daycare facility. Her supervisors reported how well organized and clean her center was and how well she worked with children.

We are delighted to have Kelitza join our staff and know that she will be a great addition to Fun Time. 
Success Story
Meet Charlee!
Charlee is a smart, confident little girl in one of our classrooms for three-year-olds. She started attending our center last December.  

Charlee’s mom, Bethany, found herself in trying times as she was going through a divorce and a custody battle that sometimes led to physical altercations. She was staying at The Shelter for Abused Women and Children when she heard about our center from a mutual friend whose children had attended a few years ago. Bethany was a stay-at-home mom for 17 years and decided she needed and wanted to go back to work.

In addition, she hoped to find a safe and stable environment for Charlee to be during the day. She knew it was important for Charlee to be around children her own age to develop her social-emotional skills.  
Over the last eight months at school, Bethany has seen a tremendous growth in Charlee’s independence, especially considering she is the youngest of five at home.  Her teachers have observed progression in Charlee’s independence as well. Her teacher, Ms. Carmen, remembers how shy and closed off Charlee was when she first started in her classroom. Now she is observed to be secure, happy, outgoing, and she has made many friends. She loves coming to school!

Since Charlee was accepted into Fun Time, Bethany has been able to hold a steady job at a local restaurant in addition to an off-season job with a construction company. She is thankful for the financial support that both Fun Time and the Early Learning Coalition were able to offer her to help offset the cost of tuition for Charlee. Bethany also happily announced that she is no longer living at the Shelter and that she and her five children are once again together in their home. We are happy to be able to provide an affordable, quality education to Charlee while also providing Bethany with peace of mind knowing Charlee is in a safe place while she works to provide for her family.  
VPK Assessment - F.A.S.T.
We are moving to Florida’s Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) using Star Early Literacy. This is the required student assessment for VPK Programs for the 2022-2023 VPK Program Year. Star Early Literacy is a computer-adaptive assessment. The Coordinated Screening and Progress Monitoring Program is the statewide, standardized program and is implemented in all VPK programs to assess student achievement of the performance standards established in early literacy and mathematics.

Star Assessments are short tests that provide teachers with learning data. Star tests are computer adaptive, which means that they adjust to each answer your child provides. This helps teachers get the best data to help children in the shortest amount of testing time. Teachers analyze the data they get from Star Assessments to learn what students already know and what they are ready to learn next, to monitor student growth, and to determine which students may need additional help. Star Assessments are heavily researched and scientifically proven to help teachers guide each student on his or her unique path to mastery.

View this video to learn more about Star Assessments English | Spanish
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!
Support Our Mission
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.

Contact: Becca Mysels at (239)261-8284 or bmysels@funtimeacademy.orgk
Fun Time Early Childhood Academy | [Website]