Featured Teacher | Ms. Kay | Pre-Toddler A Lead Teacher

The lead teacher in Pre-Toddler A is Ms. Kay. Ms. Kay was born in McClellanville, SC but then moved to Jacksonville, Fla until 2013. After graduation, Ms. Kay moved back to Charleston to be with her hero, Grandma Joyce. Her grandmother is her inspiration and has instilled in her the belief to live positively and love generously. Ms. Kay also follows Philippians 4:13: “Through Christ, all things are possible.”

Once Ms. Kay moved back to the Lowcountry, family members recommended Children’s Discovery Center. They knew her love for children was strong and thought CDC would be a great fit. She was excited to join the team and learn about the Reggio philosophy, which encourages her children to “think outside the box” and find their creative side. She also loves using art materials to enhance learning, even with her young learners.

Outside of CDC, Ms. Kay loves spending time with her one-year-old daughter Paisley, her fiancé and their dog. An interesting fact about Ms. Kay is that she loves creating hairstyles for friends and family. She attended cosmetology school in Florida and utilizes her training to this day.

Featured Project: Bird Nests

childrens discovery center projectsPreToddler A students love looking for birds while outside on nature walks.

To further this interest, they read In My Nest. Ms. Kay began asking questions such as, “Where do birds live?” and “Where do birds feed their young?” Children learned about where birds live by viewing images, reading books and searching for nests outside. To create their own nests, the class collected pine straw, sticks and leaves.

Children's Discovery Center ToddlerSome natural artifacts were pressed into clay and others were placed in the sensory bin for exploration. The children enjoyed working as a team as they built their nests. Through the nest investigation, children also noticed the eggs that rested within them.

Children noticed there are a variety of different eggs in images. Each classmate was given an opportunity to make their own clay eggs. To create eggs, the children used different materials such as blue sand, oats and paint. They molded the clay in egg-like shapes, then rolled the eggs in the materials to create colored and spotted eggs. Children noticed the colors of eggs in images presented and created paint colors to coordinate.

Recently, children began comparing the different sizes of eggs. Some eggs are small and others are as large as our hands! Children are starting to sort eggs based on their attributes and enjoy placing eggs in their nest, created in our sensory bin.

Featured Teacher | Claudette Merilice | Transitional Preschool Teacher | Park West

Claudette Merilice, Transitional Preschool teacher, is from James Island, SC. Ms. Claudette loves spending time with her two-year-old son, Antonio, at Folly Beach, walking the Ravenel bridge or cooking. Ms. Claudette comes from a full household of nine brothers and sisters, so it’s no surprise that she is outgoing and loves the company of others. In fact, Ms. Claudette says her favorite part about her job is “the smiles I see on a daily basis from co-workers, parents and most importantly, the children.”

Ms. Claudette’s faith plays an important role in her career: “My interest to teach at CDC was based on the Center’s Christian environment,” she says. “For me to know that God’s love, guidance and words can be taught and expressed with His children allows me to follow my heart in being an example of His love.” Ms. Claudette especially enjoys the lovely moment after morning meetings that she and her students can celebrate the love of the Lord: “We sing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ while holding hands,” she says. “This allows us to begin our days remembering who loves us most of all: Jesus!”

Ms. Claudette also cherishes moments of student discovery: “My enjoyment lies in the daily success of my students growing developmentally through their interests with my guidance to challenge and explore the world around them,” she says proudly.

Featured Project: Circular Motion

Our Transitional Preschool classroom at our Park West center recently learned all about motion!

The class began their exploration with a focus on the circular motion of wheels. Ms. Claudette, Transitional Preschool teacher, put an extra flair on the activity by adding fabric as a creative expression to enhance the bicycle wheel’s motion.

As the children observed the wheel’s circular motion, they were able to then apply the same concepts, recognizing similar motion in other objects at home, in nature and at school.

We then elevated this recognition by probing our students to further explore the implications of motion. By asking investigative questions about motion, the class was able to further develop their physical and problem-solving skills.

The end result? The students were spinning in the delight of their own accomplishments!

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.

Featured Project: Investigating Nature’s Floor

The children of our Toddler A class demonstrated an interest in observing the different elements of nature while outside. To promote this interest, we began collecting materials outdoors and bringing them into the room. We investigated their colors, sizes and textures.

Could the children create simple patterns and designs? We used visual inspiration of mandalas and then encouraged children to create their own.

When collecting our mandala materials, we found that the children loved digging in and sifting through the dirt. We discovered so many varying colors and textures within this simple element.

Children used magnifying glasses and sheets to look more in depth at the ground. We chose to follow this interest and investigate the many types of dirt, soil, sod, etc.

How are these elements used for growth? How can we add other natural elements, such as water, to change the consistency of the dirt? We created canvases with mud paint.

We looked at layers of the earth and created a bin for investigation and learning with the natural materials. We have loved seeing the art pieces children have created during their investigative process.


Featured Teacher: Caitlin Baney | Lead Teacher | Park West

As a social work major, Caitlin has always had an interest in working with children. She first heard of Children’s Discovery Center through family friends whose children attended CDC and knew it was exactly where she wanted to use her gifts and love for kids.

Caitlin’s favorite part about working at CDC is the collaborative and welcoming atmosphere. She enjoys the use of the Reggio Emilia philosophy and says that the use of natural materials is one of the things she loves most about the various classroom projects at CDC. She also loves that children get to use their own unique vision with the learning process.

When asked what her most rewarding experience has been here at CDC, she said, “My relationship with the children is what keeps me energized and devoted here at CDC. They warm my heart each day.”

Caitlin’s favorite thing to do with the students is exploring their creativity and expanding their knowledge through the use of new tools or materials.

Her life motto is, “Live every day to the fullest because you are never guaranteed another day.”

Caitlin was born and raised in Mount Pleasant and enjoys spending her time outdoors at local spots like Shem Creek or horseback riding. She has a huskie named Koda who loves the outdoors just as much as she does. Another fun fact about Caitlin? She has a fraternal twin sister who also lives here in the Lowcountry!

Children’s Discovery Center Recognized as one of Largest Privately-Owned Child Care Companies in the Country

Mount Pleasant, SC – The Children’s Discovery Center recently topped Exchange magazine’s list of North America’s Largest For-Profit Child Care Organizations. Coming in at the 36th spot, the Children’s Discovery Center’s ranking is based on the center’s nine locations and 1,703 overall capacity.

The list is featured in the most recent publication from Exchange Press Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting the exchange of ideas among leaders in early childhood programs worldwide. The list uses information supplied by the organizations’ websites. The data on capacity is the total licensed capacity of all centers as of Jan. 1, 2016.

“I am honored that the Children’s Discovery Center is recognized among some of the largest and most well-respected child care centers in the country,” said Lois Rosenberry, president and CEO of the Children’s Discovery Center. “It is a true testament to our team’s hard work and dedication to our continual growth.”

This is not the first time the Children’s Discovery Center has been recognized by Exchange magazine. A few months ago, Rosenberry was named a member of the Master Leader of the Exchange Leadership Initiative.

“I believe that this is just the beginning of our journey,” said Rosenberry. “With such exceptional teams at every one of our locations, enhancing early childhood experiences for our children is our primary focus.”