4 win awards for outstanding child care work


February 17, 1994|By MICHELLE HOFFMAN

"I've never felt this good about doing something good for someone else in my life," said Kim Eckard, editor of Carroll's Child, a newsletter for Carroll County families.

What she did was spread a little sunshine into the lives of four Carroll County day care providers last Thursday when she announced the winners of the First Annual Care Giver/Teacher Awards, sponsored by Carroll's Child.

In the January-February issue, a simple entry form on the back page stated in part:

"At Carroll's Child, we truly believe child care providers and preschool teachers play an important and invaluable role in young children's lives. Unfortunately, they receive little recognition and are among the lowest-paid workers."

Candidates were chosen "based on their dedication, creativity, enthusiasm, and genuine love and concern for children" as was expressed in letters submitted.


"Oh, I'm so excited," said Sheila Waglie of Taneytown after she was told that she had won Most Loved Care Giver. "It's wonderful!

"It is not every day that parents tell you that they appreciate the way in which you care for their children. I do try to place a great deal of love into my job. I'm just glad it shows. As a day care mom, you get to exchange your love with kids everyday. It's nice to know that the parents feel the same way. There is a special friendship that I hope to have with each parent that enrolls their children in my day care."

Mrs. Waglie was nominated by Gail Garner. Mrs. Garner's children, Richard, now 5 1/2 , and Elizabeth, 2 1/2 , consider Mrs. Waglie to be their "day care mommy."

In her letter, Mrs. Garner stated that Mrs. Waglie shows her dedication to the children in her care by providing craft projects and activities that "help the children work on fine motor coordination while they have a lot of fun." She said the children and "Miss Sheila . . . practice reading together and writing on a classroom-size chalkboard."

"Sheila is emotionally bonded to 'her kids,' and looks out for their health, safety, and welfare," Mrs. Garner said. "I love her, and she loves my children. What more could a parent want in a day care provider?"


"There aren't enough words of praise to express for my very creative and insightful care giver, Beverly Fox," the letter of nomination for Most Creative Care Giver began.

Ranee Deyo, author of the letter, has a 2-year-old daughter in Mrs. Fox's day care.

"My daughter brings home various pictures, crafts and writing papers that show what she's learned. The skills range from the alphabet to numbers to learning about the seasons," she said. "I must say that I was shocked when she started telling me what the letters stood for, how they sounded and counted to 30!"

Mrs. Deyo said Mrs. Fox "always comes up with fun activities to involve the parents in her day care. For instance, last month, she had a dress-up party for all of the children. She invited some of the parents to help as the children assembled their pretty clothes and makeup for a fashion photo. The next week, Mrs. Fox framed the individual pictures as gifts for the parents."

"I have never met anyone with such an enthusiasm and love for her job, which pays very little and sometimes nothing. Her motivation to pursue daily adventures and tasks for the children has been never-ending."


"I was totally shocked," exclaimed Mary Burke, owner-director and teacher at Little People's Place in Westminster. Mrs. Burke was one of two winners in the Most Loved Teachers category.

Cindy Plantholt's letter describing Mrs. Burke's loving nature touched the heart. Mrs. Plantholt's daughter, Kristen, died at age 6. For four of those years, Kristen attended Little People's Place while her mom worked full time.

"She spent over half of her life there," wrote Mrs. Plantholt. "You see, it had become more than a day care for my daughter. It was an extended family. Almost all of the staff attended her funeral, and Mary cried as if Kristen was her own daughter."

Mrs. Plantholt reminisced about the time Kristen fell while playing outside at the day care center. "This happened right before my husband picked her up. Mary accompanied them to the hospital and stayed with Kristen while she was stitched up.

"After Kristen's death, a tree and memorial stone was put outside the day care center so Kristen would always be remembered there. They also invited my husband and me to many holiday events there the first year after she died to make us still feel a part."


Tracy Sanders is "a portrait of a second mom" to the 15-month-old son of Diane Sell. Mrs. Sell nominated Ms. Sanders for the Most Loved Teacher award.

Ms. Sanders is teacher and director of the Taney Does Care Center in Taneytown. She also cares for Mrs. Sell's two older daughters, 6 1/2 and 8.

"Our 8-year-old is very artistic and creative," said Mrs. Sell in her letter to Carroll's Child. "Tracy has encouraged this by allowing her to use her imagination daily to draw and to write."

Mrs. Sell's other daughter was encouraged to "walk away from trouble" by Ms. Saunders.

"Having our daughter learn this very important piece of advice, it has helped her to make her own good decision of staying out of trouble," Mrs. Sell said. " 'Walking away from trouble' is advice that all children must learn, for they will need to refer to this throughout their lifetime."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.