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About Us


                                                          OUR  PHILOSOPHY

Imagination Childcare Academy, Inc. is dedicated to providing an exemplary early childhood program and committed to fostering the continued growth and development of each child on a cognitive, physical, emotional, and social level. Since children learn best through active involvement, Imagination Childcare Academy, Inc. provides an enriched, stimulating, and safe environment that encourages exploration and experimentation. Children are guided to question, hypothesize, solve problems, and express themselves creatively. Teachers at Imagination Childcare Academy, Inc. respect and understand the uniqueness of each and every child.

Preschool children are growing and developing in many ways every day.  The preschool program at Imagination Childcare Academy, Inc. is designed to meet the needs of all children by providing many experiences for them to practice and build upon the skills they already have while incorporating new knowledge. Our primary goal is to provide access to the opportunities that promote school success at the same time as recognizing and supporting each child’s individual  differences.     


Click on the link below to preview some of the activities that we do at Imagination Childcare Academy, Inc.


HISTORY OF IMAGINATION CHILDCARE ACADEMY, INC.

 Prior to relocating to the Rochester area, we lived in Scotia, NY.  When my son, Nicholas, was four months old, he was placed into the Schenectady County Early Intervention Program, because he was not tracking objects and had difficulty learning new concepts.  

At first, a special education teacher came to the house and worked with Nicholas on a weekly basis.  After a few months, his teacher suggested that he should work with a physical therapist, as he was having sensory issues and had difficulty learning to crawl.  Then, a few months passed and his teachers recommended that he have a speech pathologist work with him, as he was delayed with his speech patterns.  A few more months passed by and the teachers and I decided that Nicholas needed more exposure to all of these skills on a daily basis in order for him to progress. 

The teachers recommended a preschool that was fully integrated with all children.  The program consisted of a two hour daily preschool program, which included a special education teacher, a speech therapist, and an occupational therapist.  After the pre-school program, parents could opt to have wrap-around daycare included. 

This school was incredible.  Every day Nicholas and I walked into those doors, he was greeted by name, with love and excitement by every staff member he encountered, including the secretaries and the custodian.  He was excited to go to school, making mornings a breeze.  Every moment of the day was purposely planned for developmentally appropriate learning.  Every time I walked in, regardless of the time of day, the children were learning.  Even in the morning, with us being the first people to walk in the door, there were planned fine motor activities on the table (ex. different color bears, with tweezers and color coded bowls for them to sort the bears) waiting for the children to explore.  Nicholas attended this program for about six months, and then he tested out of the Early Intervention Program, though he continued to attend the school until we relocated to Rochester.

Shortly after moving to Rochester, my husband and I began looking for a daycare that was close to home that would provide Nicholas with the same experiences as his old school.  I was saddened to learn that these schools are few and far to come by on the West Side of Rochester. 

We visited several daycare centers and preschools.  We found most of the places were more focused on play, rather than facilitated learning.  Many times, we observed the staff sitting next to each other talking, rather than interacting with the children and promoting language building opportunities.  Inside the facilities, there were few spaces where children could go to move around, in cases of inclement weather.  Some facilities prided themselves in the fact that they offered a writing curriculum for three year olds, including oodles of worksheets. 

A few months later, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Strong Museum of Play.  I was amazed.  This place provided natural learning experiences for all age groups to discover and explore.  Literacy opportunities were in every direction: books, paper, writing utensils, words all over the walls to explain what’s happening in the environment (up, down, in, out, loud, quiet). There were multiple opportunities for children to use imaginative play: The Wegmans, the restaurant in the Bernstein Bears section, the helicopter, Sesame Street, and Giant’s land, the assembly line, etc.  There were multiple exhibits that encouraged children to explore with science, math, music and art.  I left the museum that day thinking…wow…what an amazing place for kids to go and learn.

I began to think…. I could create my own learning center, which incorporates all the things I love about Nicholas’ old school, some of the concepts from Strong Museum, and some of my own ideas.  I came up with the following:

  • A warm, nurturing environment where all children would feel respected and loved
  • A full day of purposefully planned hands on experiences that promote literacy, science, math, social studies and technology
  • A large indoor arena where children could move around safely and use imaginative play (bakery, restaurant, grocery store, auto mechanic, etc.)
  • A curriculum that incorporated technology, where children would be encouraged to interact with web based learning materials.
  • A place where parents are considered to be experts on their own children and encouraged to work as partners with the teachers and staff
  • A facility that is designed to nurture children’s imaginations, helping them discover and grow
  • A place where literacy is integrated throughout all parts of the daily routine

 This is how Imagination Childcare Academy, Inc. was born!  The name encompasses all we stand for.  We want children to use their imaginations to learn about the world around them.  We create an environment that facilitates this learning by modeling and by providing the children with the tools they need to be successful. 

 


ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Erin Medlar holds a Dual Master’s Degree of Science in Literacy/ Special Education from the University at Albany. She is certified in New York State to teach in the following areas: Elementary Education (1-6), Early Elementary Education (B-2), Special Education (1-6) and Literacy (B-6).  She has over ten years of public and private school teaching experience, working with children from diverse backgrounds with a variety of needs. 

For Erin, being a teacher is not just a career; it defines who she is.  Everyday Ms. Medlar is amazed by the children she works with; she is inspired by their innate curiosity.  Married and a mother of two boys, ages four and twelve, Erin understands the unique challenges that families face in today’s society.  She is continuously building relationships with children and their families, as she believes that it is those partnerships that empower children to reach their fullest potential.  Erin uses a hands-on multi-sensory approach to learning, understanding that the more senses children use when they learn, the more likely they will remember those skills and concepts.  Erin understands that every child is unique with a variety of strengths that can be built upon, and she modifies the classroom environment to meet these individual needs.  She uses continual assessment as a way to guide her instructional decisions, rather than relying on any one set curriculum. 

Ultimately, Erin is grateful to have the opportunity to work with young children for the chance to be a positive role model in their lives. 

About Our Teachers

Miranda Golish recently graduated from SUNY Oswego with a Bachelor’s degree in Childhood Education with a concentration in science.  She is currently working toward obtaining a Master’s degree in Special Education from St. John Fisher. She is NYS certified to teach Childhood Education. 

Since the days of playing school with her imaginary students as a child, Ms. Miranda has known in her heart that she was destined to be an educator.  She hasn’t steered away from that path and has now returned home to Rochester eager to move forward with her dream.  She is excited to put all of her ideas, motivation, and knowledge to work.  Ms. Miranda is known for having a great deal of patience and for her strong work ethic. 

Ms. Miranda is an advocate for giving back to the community and helping others.  In the past couple of years she has: gone to New Orleans to help Hurricane Katrina victims, gone to New Jersey to help with the head start program (a program for under privileged kids), done work with the Special Olympics, and she has been a member of the red cross club.       As an educator Ms. Miranda plans on continuing to give back to the community through guiding children on the path to becoming successful individuals who will one day be a great asset to society. 

 

Miss Tara is very excited to be a part of Imagination Childcare Academy and get to know each and every child at this school. She attended SUNY Brockport for her undergraduate studies and earned her teaching degree in Early Childhood Education as well as her Bachelor’s Degree in Science. She went on to earn her Masters Degree in Multicultural Education at SUNY Geneseo, where she also extended her teaching certification obtaining her teaching degree in Childhood Education. Previously, she was a substitute teacher for the Rochester City School District. It was a great experience where she got to meet many amazing educators and children. Miss Tara loves working with children, especially in Early Childhood Education because it is truly her passion. It is amazing to be able to spend the entire day with children and be a part of their learning process.

In her spare time, Miss Tara loves to travel. Her favorite place that she has traveled to is Key West Florida, where she went swimming with dolphins! She also likes to spend time outdoors bike riding and going on long walks. Miss Tara also loves to cook. She can make fresh homemade lasagna from scratch.

Kerri Bocianski was born and raised here in Rochester, New York and attended Churchville-Chili High School.  Miss Kerri graduated from SUNY Brockport, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.  She earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Robert’s Wesleyan College.  Miss Kerri enjoys swimming and has worked as a lifeguard for over seven years at both Gates-Chili High school and at SUNY Brockport. In her spare time, Miss Kerri also enjoys drawing and visiting with her family and friends.  Miss Kerri has several years of experience working with children with developmental disorders.  Her passion is finding alternate ways for all children to be successful. 

Shelly Fenton has an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood/Nursery School/Preschool from Villa Maria College. She also has a Bachelor’s Degree in K-6th from D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. She is both a mother and a grandmother!

Ms. Shelly has years of experience working with all ages of children.  She was a stay at home mom for 17 years, raising two lovely girls. While at home, she provided day-care and before/after school care services for teachers and their families within the Fairport School District.

Once her children grew up, Ms. Shelly became a lead preschool teacher, and then a lead Pre-K teacher.  She also had the opportunity to develop a before and after school program, where she planned and implemented a curriculum for children in 1st through 5th grade.

Other than her passion for working with children, Ms. Shelly’s additional interests are: cooking, being outdoors, creating art projects, fishing, watching football & reading. She also has a small business where she creates art with rocks, pots and plants.           

Ms. Shelly’s goal is to make a difference in each child’s life, showing them how to believe in themselves and nurturing them to be the best they can be.  Most importantly, she strives to make children feel happy, safe and secure. She also works hard to teach them the importance of using their imagination.  She believes in positive reinforcement, setting small achievable goals, and praise. As children are our future, Ms. Shelly is pleased to have a role in their development
Christina Moyer was born and raised here in Rochester, NY, and graduated from Pittsford Sutherland High School in 1998.  Since then, she has earned her CDA (Child Development Associate) certificate in preschool.  She is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood Education at Grand Canyon University, which is an on-line program. 

Prior to teaching at Imagination Childcare Academy, Ms. Christina taught at Generations for over 6 years, working with children of all ages.  Ms. Christina says that she loves working with children because every day is different and as much as they learn from her, she learns from them.

Ms. Christina has four children: Christopher age 13, Kimberly age 8, Landyn age 4, and Peyton age 1. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her children, reading and watching movies. She and her family enjoy going for walks, going to the zoo and to the YMCA. Ms. Christina is also her daughter Kimberly’s brownie troop leader.

Ms. Christina says that although her children keep her very busy, they are her greatest joy and they are why she works so hard.


                       

Victoria Dunning is a Gates-Chili native, born and raised in this community.  Her mother is the youth coordinator for the Gates-Chili Catholic community.  Miss Tori graduated from Gates-Chili High School in 2008.  She is an avid sports lover, and has had the opportunity to play on Gates-Chili’s first field hockey team. 

Prior to joining the Imagination Childcare Academy family, Miss Tori was employed at Generations for seven years, working with children from the ages of six months to twelve years.  In addition to her day job, she often volunteers her time to her church and other organizations.  Tori shares her passion for giving back to the community with our children here, showing them the importance of showing kindness to those in need. 

Often, you will notice Miss Tori singing and dancing through the hallways.  Her bubbly and boisterous personality is infectious to all those around!  Miss Tori loves to cook and share her creations with all those who are willing to try them.  Ultimately, she would love to go back to school to learn how to be a chef. 

 

Location
230 Coldwater Road

Rochester, NY 14624

Call us at
(585) 413-3948

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