Exciting News from CDC Park West!

We are excited to announce our new Park West assistant director Maureen Begley. While she was born in Charleston, Maureen grew up in the upstate of South Carolina where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC. During her time at Presbyterian College, she worked as an assistant teacher through the YMCA Child Development Center of Greater Laurens County

Being born in Charleston and coming back every summer to visit extended family, Maureen knew that after college this was where she wanted to live. After obtaining her degree from Presbyterian College, she moved down to Charleston to gain a Master’s of Education in Counselor Education through The Citadel Graduate College. While in graduate school, Maureen worked at Daniel Island Academy as a full-time teacher for two years. She then served as a school counseling intern at Marrington Middle School of the Arts in Berkeley County.

This December, Maureen completed her time at The Citadel and received her school counseling certification. She has also taught Sunday school for several years and is excited to be at a center with Christian based philosophies.

Maureen has lived here in Mount Pleasant for two years. She enjoys reading, seeing movies and exploring downtown Charleston to try out all different types of restaurants with her husband who works as a chef at Wild Dunes.

Maureen is excited to be a part of the CDC family and will work to maintain the center’s educational practices while building strong relationships with the staff and parents.

Featured Project: The Wonder of Dragonflies

During a pond investigation, children noticed dragonflies. These curious creatures begin their lives in water before undergoing a metamorphic process that takes them into the skies. During our daily nature walks, the children’s fascination grew as they watched these animals fluttering around the playground. They would often stop and point in excitement when they noticed a dragonfly’s translucent wings glinting in the sunlight.

Children first learned about the anatomy of these insects. When viewing images, the children would stop and point to the various parts of their bodies, and then listen to the names of each one. To help further their knowledge, the classmates used natural materials to construct replicas of these winged animals. First, Pre-Toddler C friends ventured outdoors to collect materials. Once they brought materials indoors, children were presented with various images of dragonflies and an array of the twigs, leaves, branches and acorns which they had so diligently collected.

As our educational journey continued, the children showed heightened interest in the wings of a dragonfly. They often mimicked the vibrating motion these bugs used when flying. We decided this was the perfect opportunity to aid in gross motor skill development and presented the children with a variety of winged dress up clothing. The children loved selecting wings of their own and zooming around the classroom as they imitated the flight of a dragonfly.

Now that the children had explored these creatures in the sky, our attention turned toward their habitats. Pre-Toddler C friends knew that they often lived around water but were uncertain as what other elements would be needed for a dragonfly to survive. We decided that the best way to discover this would be a venture into the great outdoors to observe these creatures in their natural habitats. The children noticed that they often saw them around the plants and trees found all around our school. This opened our curiosity to gardens and forests. The children, once again, collected materials to replicate the environment that dragonflies are found in. Upon returning to the classroom, we transformed our sensory bin into a dragonfly environment.

Featured Teacher: Jimmetta Reid | Lead Teacher | Venning Road

Ms. Jimmetta Reid is a Pre-Toddler C lead teacher at our Venning Road center. She is a Charleston native and a graduate of Claflin University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Ms. Jimmetta has worked in childcare for five years and has been a valued team member at CDC since 2016. Her energetic and fun-loving personality brings warmth to the classroom each day.

Ms. Jimmetta loves using natural materials to help guide the children in their learning experience with a Reggio inspired environment. Her favorite aspect of working in the Pre-Toddler classroom is inspiring her student to explore the outdoors and discover the ways that God’s natural wonders can be brought into the classroom through creative experiences.

Outside of work, Ms. Jimmetta enjoys spending time with her family, including her one-year-old son, Asher. She said her older sister, Alicia, is her hero and that she is “continuously inspired by her ability to give 110 percent of herself toward all aspects of her life.”

Her personal motto is, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Luke 6:31). She feels this scripture emphasizes the importance of giving, along with treating each person you encounter with respect and love. One fun fact you may not know about Jimmetta is she is also a trained dancer in lyrical jazz, tap and hip-hop dance.