Little grads

Little Foxxes Daycare Center has graduation ceremony

Aiyana Cooper, left, a Little Foxxes Daycare Center graduate, sings "I'm A Little Teapot," with another student during the Little Foxxes Daycare Center 2013 graduation program held at First Missionary Baptist Church.

BRAD McCLENNY/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 2:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 2:32 p.m.

Graduates and students of the Little Foxxes Daycare Center wowed an admiring audience of their most loyal fans — mainly moms, dads and other family members — with their poise, knowledge of math and English, and their memorization and singing skills during the center's Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Graduation.

The graduation, which included the children ages 2-5 demonstrating what they have learned during the school year, began with a processional of elegantly dressed children, followed by the VPK graduates in their academic regalia. It was held Friday at First Missionary Baptist Church near Lincoln Estates.

Mae Thomas, onsite manager of Little Foxxes located in the Porters community, is one of the children of Lois Foxx, the founder of Little Foxxes Daycare Center. Lois Foxx died in 2010 at the age of 99. Thomas said her mother strived to make sure that when her students graduated, they would be reading and well-mannered. "We've kept mother's legacy," said Thomas, adding that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Little Foxxes Daycare Center.

During the ceremony, the VPK graduates introduced themselves, provided their parents' names, and declared their career goals. The graduates are:

— Aiyana Cooper, daughter of Chrelle and Shedrick Cooper, who plans to be a doctor.

— Terry Lang, son of Colleta and Clarence Lang, who wants a police officer.

— Travis Carter, son of Stephanie and Travis Carter, who aspires to become a football player.

— Tahj Webb, son of Saprina and Joseph Webb, who has plans to be a cowboy.

— Bryce Brockington, son of Cynthia and Murphy Brockington, who also wants to become a football player.

— Eugene Hall, son of Chrystal and Eugene Hall, who hopes to become a teacher.

— Lyndon Woody, son of Pleshette and Lyndon Woody, who has plans to be a basketball player.

The graduates then sang "He's Got the Whole World" and all of the children recited the "Lord's Prayer" and the "Pledge of Allegiance" and sang "Bubbling Over," "Wheels on the Bus" and "This Little Light of Mine."

They also all counted up a storm — in English and in Spanish — and sang other songs, including "I'm A Little Teapot," "Hickory Dickory Dock," "Jack & Jill" and "Humpty Dumpty."

Together, they also sang the days of the weeks and the months of the year and VPK teacher Tarra Houston discussed the curriculum and quizzed the students in word opposites, such as open/close and wet/dry.

Then Houston and Erntrael Claridy, director of Little Foxxes, presented the VPK graduates with a diploma and a signet ring engraved with 2013 for the graduation year. Each graduate also received a gift bag.

Folk artist Alyne Harris of Gainesville was recognized for volunteering her time each Wednesday to teach art at Little Foxxes. For her efforts, she received arts and crafts supplies. Rebecca Fort, who was unable to attend, was named "Grandparent of the Year" in recognition of her support of Little Foxxes.

Thomas praised the children. "We're always amazed," Thomas said. "We try to love them and prepare them for school."

Thomas also praised the parents. "We work very close," Thomas said. "We have so many special parents and whatever we ask them to do, they do it for us."

Houston and Claridy reflected on their students.

Houston said she enjoys working with the children. "They're a handful," Houston said, "with their own personalities and ways of doing things." Houston also recited an original poem.

Claridy said the children worked very hard. "The beginning of learning is very important," Claridy said.

Open enrollment for children ages 2-5 is available at Little Foxxes at 730 SW 5th St. For more information, call 352-376-4987.

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