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CNCC teacher receives 2012 Terri Lynne Lokoff National Child Care Teacher award

— The Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation (TLLCCF) is proud to announce that Denise Swindon, teacher of toddlers at the County North Children's Center, Inc., Liverpool, was the recipient of the 2012 Terri Lynne Lokoff National Child Care Teacher Award. This exemplary early care and education teacher was selected from a pool of applicants nationwide. Swindon received an award of $1,000 on Thursday, April 19, at a special ceremony at Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia.

There are a total of 52 National Child Care Teacher Award recipients for 2012. Swindon’s award-winning project which she will implement with a grant from the TLLCCF is Sensory Garden.

“The garden will consist of raised flower beds, separating out each sensory area to help children identify, explore and enjoy each of the five senses,” Swindon said. “This horticultural experience will be child-friendly with sturdy, hardy and non-toxic plants. The children will be involved with every aspect of planning and maintaining the garden. There will be a Taste Garden with vegetables, herbs and berries, and a Sound Garden of grasses and seed pods as well as bird feeders and wind chimes. The Touch Garden will have a variety of textured plants, the Smell Garden will have a mixture of fragrant plants and the Sight Garden will incorporate color, movement and shapes. Some of the plants will attract butterflies. Each child will make a garden stone to be used to create a path connecting the gardens. Painted crockery, colorful banners and weatherproof signs will add to our special garden. We will read non-fiction and picture books about gardening, flowers and vegetables. My plan is to expand our garden each year by adding seating, a special reading area, additional plants, bushes and trees, composting and much more.”

The recipients of the 2012 Terri Lynne Lokoff National Child Care Teacher Awards designed an enhancement project that illustrates the educational, social and emotional benefits for the children in their care. A committee of national early childhood educators and experts reviewed and scored the applications. Each recipient receives a $1,000 award: $500 to implement their proposed project and $500 to acknowledge their dedication.

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