The Villages - November 2008 - (Page 30)

TEACHERS Miss Cotton Candy’s smile says it all. One can tell Vicki Concannon, of the Village of Calumet Grove, adores volunteering in Natalie Kelly’s classroom at the Early Childhood Center of The Villages Charter Schools, a room filled with 4- and 5-year-olds. “I just love being with the kids, they’re wonderful,” she said. “Every day is a joy.” It was a few years back when she noticed some children had trouble pronouncing her last name. “They couldn’t say Concannon, so it came out Cotton Candy,” she said. “The kids came up with the name and it just took hold.” As Joel, Jenna, Abi, Alyssa, Cylie and Braden take turns one recent morning in the arts and crafts center of their classroom, they experiment with watercolor paints on white paper outlined with drawings of autumn leaves. Vicki smiled nonstop, watching the children dab their thick paintbrushes in paint, and then happily paint their leaves in colors of green, purple and pink. She has volunteered at the Early Childhood Center for four years, each year in Natalie Kelly’s class. “She’s wonderful,” Natalie said, praising Vicki as a dedicated volunteer who devotes 8 a.m. to noon every Monday, Tuesday and Friday to help her and the children. “You can tell she has a childcare background,” the teacher said. “She poses directions in the positive, and when a child is not in line, she asks, ‘Where are you supposed to be?’ In fact, I learn from her as much as she may learn from me. When she’s not here on Thursdays and Fridays, I can feel the difference. She is really, really a blessing.” Natalie notes Miss Cotton Candy brightens her days. Vicki assists wherever she’s needed. After circle time in the morning, the children divide up and go to different centers in the room, including one area filled with computers. “I think some people would be amazed, I really do,” Vicki said, of seeing 4-year-olds being computer-savvy. “I just wanted to get out and do something,” the Villager NOVEMBER 2008 by Theresa Campbell Value Villagers Vicki Concannon • Early Childhood said, recalling now she began volunteering at the Early Childhood Center. She had worked at a Montessori School for 15 years in New York as a teacher’s aide. Barbara Castro, Early Childhood Center coordinator, marvels over Vicki’s devotion as a volunteer. “She’s faithful, loyal, unbelievable,” Barbara said. “She is always dedicated and is just a wonderful asset for us. I can’t say enough good things about her. Last year, she had the most volunteer hours (280) and won the overall award on campus for being here the most often.” “I was shocked,” Vicki said of the recognition. Miss Cotton Candy says she plans to continue volunteering, just as she always has, because of her love for children.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Villages - November 2008

The Villages - November 2008
The Villages From Above
Bricks Honor Veterans
Sports and Recreation
For the Kids
Brain Exercises
Go & Do Shopping & Dining Guide
Entertainment Briefs
Major Events

The Villages - November 2008