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Zac Brown Band's Coy Bowles Educates, Entertains at Childcare Resources Workshop

A man stands on stage next to a guitar.
Presenter Coy Bowles asked attendees to revisit their origin story and connect to their calling. Photo by Sheila Clevenger.

"You are going to save a kid’s life in the next month,” said presenter Coy Bowles at a recent Childcare Resources professional development workshop. “The love you give your students now will impact that day when they’re thirteen or thirty-five and carry them through.”

A conga line snakes through a room.
Attending educators formed a conga line during a performance of the song Coming Home. Photo by Sheila Clevenger

Bowles, a musician, author, and early learning advocate, spoke to more than 130 early childhood educators representing nearly three dozen local schools and centers. The half-day workshop, funded by Indian River County Children’s Services Advisory Committee and PNC Grow Up Great Foundation with additional support provided by Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company, asked attendees to connect to their calling as educators and reinforced the foundational skills learned in the early years.

A man stands, holding a microphone. A woman stands next to him.
Jason King, of Douglas Head Start, shared his story of overcoming challenges as an early educator. Pictured with co-teacher Davie Peek. Photo by Sheila Clevenger

“Conversation, communication, and social skills are of the utmost importance,” emphasized Bowles as he discussed foundational skills. “Every kid needs to understand how they feel and how to communicate it.”

Bowles’ presentation was punctuated by live performances including his song ‘Coming Home,’ which sparked a conga line. Mid-morning, four local early educators shared their origin stories with the audience. During this emotional segment, each educator touched on what had called them to the profession, the challenges they had faced along the way, and the support they had received that carried them through the difficult times.

A group of people stand together.
The Childcare Resources program committee helps coordinate professional development for educators. L-R: Joyce Parent, Susan Donovan, Executive Director Shannon McGuire Bowman, Coy Bowles, Sherry Waddell, and Kathy Marshall. Photo by Sheila Clevenger

“I enjoyed being reminded that every teacher has a story,” noted Ashley Kazen, Director of Maitland Farm Preschool. “It made me think about my own story and why I show up every day.”


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