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Yesterday Was An Important Day 🥧

Did you know that yesterday was Pi Day? That's not a typo. Not Pie as in Sweet Potato. (Don't bring that Pumpkin Pie mess around these parts. This is the South!) Pi as in 3.14159... You know. π. Anyway, I tend to forget that March 14 is Pi Day every year until someone reminds me. This year, it was my students. Btw, in case you didn't know, I teach civil engineering courses at UCF. So naturally, my numerically-minded students reminded me during class yesterday. I responded with amusement, but added that March 14 is also my grandmother's birthday. "Aww!" My students are adorable...sometimes. But I guess that's why I forget about the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter on this day. It means something different for me.

Me and my grandmother, Willye F. Dennis

My grandmother, Willye F. Dennis, would've been 98 years old yesterday. She passed 12 years ago, but talk about a life well-lived! Among her many roles and titles, she was a Florida State Representative and the President of the NAACP-Jacksonville Chapter. She worked tirelessly to improve access and opportunities for all people.

But what holds the most profound significance to me at this juncture in my life is her work with children. She served as a children's librarian in Jacksonville, pioneering the Library Operated Outreach Program (LOOP) that brought the library directly to the community in vibrant, psychedelic vans. Years later, she and other members of my family, started a childcare center: FAM-CO Learning and Development Center. Most children who graduated from kindergarten at FAM-CO were in the top 5% of their classes in school. The programs and curriculum at FAM-CO earned it national recognition through its features on Good Morning America and being named one of the top 10 day care centers in the United States.

Florida Times-Union article about FAM-CO being named a Top 10 Daycare Center by Child Magazine

Listen. I went to school for engineering...more than once! So I find myself flabbergasted sometimes that I have a business in the area of childhood education and development. But I am reminded about the work of my family, especially that of my grandmother, and especially on days like yesterday, and it this makes all the sense in the world to me. I was essentially made for this. This is a legacy that I was born into. And I have a passion for it beyond description! All children, regardless of their background, deserve the very best start at life.

Trap Baby & Me class with the Bellies, Babies, and Beyond Program at FDOH-Orange County

Next Saturday is the first Trap Baby & Me class of the year! Next week is Spring Break at UCF, so I'll be doing all the last minute things I need to do to get ready for you and your little one.

In celebration of my grandmother, I'm offering a 10% discount to all Drop-In registrants for this session. Use code: BESTSTART. The code can only be used once and expires next Wednesday, March 20 at 11:59 pm.

Thanks for reading this far. I know it was a lot. I'll make them shorter from here on out.

I'm curious: What day means something different to you than it may mean to most others? Why? Comment below.

And make sure you and your little one dance this weekend!

Dr. Celina

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1 Comment

This was so heartwarming! Your grandmother left a lasting legacy

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