The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s (MJCCA) award-winning East Cobb preschool, the Sunshine School, recently participated in several prestigious early childhood conferences.

Debbie Selden and Donna Feller

Debbie Selden and Donna Feller

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Georgia’s Infant Toddler Mentor Program

Child care in Georgia is getting a boost from a new program to expand expertise through a network of well-seasoned caregivers. Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s Georgia Program for Infant/Toddler Care (GPITC) has been working in partnership with the South Carolina Program for Infant/Toddler Care to develop a team of mentors who can share their experience with other childcare professionals.

The MJCCA’s Sunshine School recently participated in mentor training in Atlanta, conducted by Quality Assist (a training firm that provides approaches that raise the quality of early childhood care and education).

Participants, in total 16 from South Carolina and 13 from Georgia, attended 60 hours of classroom training geared toward helping them be effective mentors to other infant/toddler teachers.

Among those participating in Georgia were Sunshine School toddler teachers Donna Feller and Debbie Seiden.

Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) Commissioner Bobby Cagle said the mentor training is essential for developing better infant/toddler child care and that the top childcare providers were selected to participate.


Donna and Debbie Present the Georgia’s Infant Toddler Mentor Program

Following their training, Donna Feller and Debbie Seiden were asked to present the Georgia Infant Toddler Mentor Program on two occasions:

  • Debbie and Donna were asked to be on a panel to present the Mentor Program at the South Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children (SCAEYC) conference in Columbia, S.C. on Oct. 5;
  • Debbie and Donna presented the Mentor Program at the Georgia Association of Young Children (GAYC) conference in Atlanta on Oct. 12.  Sunshine School teacher Lisa Mallis was also at the GAYC conference with Debbie and Donna. (Donna and Lisa were able to attend the conference through a scholarship from Quality Rated for being a 3 Star Program.) Donna and Lisa accepted awards on behalf of the Sunshine School for being a 3 Star Quality Rated Program, and for both the MJCCA’s Sunshine School and Weinstein School for being NAEYC accredited.

Bright from the Start’s Jacquice Jones said, “We were so pleased that Debbie and Donna had presented with us at the SCAEYC and GAYC conferences because they are amazing at what they do, and are a true resource to other preschool teachers that can benefit from their training and expertise.”  


3 Star Quality Rated Leadership Conference.

Additionally, Raye Lynn Banks, Sunshine School Director; and Denise Shub, Sunshine School Teacher recently attended a 3 Star Quality Rated Leadership Conference. This conference was a unique opportunity to recognize and sharpen the leadership skills of those who are “Leading the Way to Excellence in Georgia.”

Gail Luxenberg, MJCCA CEO explains, “We are so proud that the Sunshine School has participated in these prestigious programs. The awards that were given to our teachers are a testament to the high standards that the MJCCA preschools embody.”


About The Sunshine School

The Sunshine School, one of the MJCCA’s two preschools, is located at Temple Kol Emeth, in Marietta. It has more than 60 years of expertise in early childhood learning; and a nationally-acclaimed, pluralistic, Jewish values curriculum, “An Ethical Start™”.


Editor’s note: for information, call Raye Lynn Banks at (678) 812-3714, or visit online at www.atlantajcc.org.