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ELC wants to give Children's Commission $20,000

Early Learning Coalition 02-25-14 (Lorena Inclan)
The Early Learning Coalition of Duval wants to give the Jax Children's Commission $20,000. (Lorena Inclan)
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Updated: 2/25 8:13 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville City Council will soon decide if the Jacksonville Children's Commission should receive $20,000 to cover conference travel expenses.

The Early Learning Coalition has allocated the money for the JCC. The funds come from a combination of federal and state money that will be given in the form of a grant to the JCC.

Early Learning Coalition CEO Susan Main said the money would cover th
e cost of sending at least eight coaches to national and state conferences this year.

"Professional development is a critical element to making sure that our children are going to get the best teachers and the best coaching that the teachers need," said Main.

If the funding is approved, the coaches will go to the National Association for the Education of Young Children Professional Development Institute in Minnesota. They will also go to another
conference in Tampa.

"It's a win-win. No. 1, the Children's Commission did take some funding cuts in early learning and early learning is a critical issue in our community," said Main.

Main said she first approached the JCC about it last November after learning the budget was cut.

Action News asked how attending these conferences will help local children succeed. Main said the answer is simple, it's a matter of giving teachers the tools they need.

"This is a great opportunity for the parents to know and feel very confident that the star rated centers are getting the best support and help that they can [get]," said Main.

According to Main, the coaches who attend the conferences will report directly to the Early Learning Coalition Board of Directors on what they learned. Their knowledge and skills will then be passed on to the centers that have been rated by the Guiding Stars of Duval.

The national conference will be held in June in Minneapolis, and another conference called, One Goal, will be held in Tampa in July.
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