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Dates to Remember

Feb 2nd: Groundhog Day

Feb 14th: Valentine's Day

Feb 17th: Random Acts of Kindness Day

Feb 18th: President's Day. Center CLOSED for In-Service Training

Feb 18th: Professional Duty Day, Lee County Schools CLOSED

Feb 22nd: International Stand Up to Bullying Day

Be Sure to check out our Facebook page!

Joseph H. Messina Children's Center News



family nutrition program

February 21st, from 5:30pm-6:30pm

Join us for our February Parent Workshop in our initiative to bring healthy foods and lifestyles to parents.  We encourage all of our parents to attend to help us help you become a healthy and active family.  Join us on February 21, 2019 from 5:30-6:30PM. 


parent-teacher-conferenceTeachers are busy finishing up the Winter Checkpoint period for all students in our Early Childhood Education Program.  Teachers will be putting out their conference calendar for you to sign up on.  Conference with parents occur three times per year.  At this time teachers will go over where your child is on the developmental spectrum and discuss the goals for the next period.  Teachers and parents reinforcing the same skills at home and at school helps the child to reach the next level.  Conferences will be held between February 8th and February 22th.


Monday, February 18th Our center will be CLOSED for our Annual In-Service Day.

usa presidents

In honor of President's Day here are few fun facts about presidents:

  • George Washington was the only president unanimously elected.
  • Thomas Jefferson spoke 6 languages including English, French, Greek, Italian, Latin and Spanish.
  • John Tyler had 15 children.
  • Abraham Lincoln often stored things like letters and documents in his tall stove-piped hat.
  • John F. Kennedy was the first president who was a Boy Scout.
  • Gerald Ford was a fashion model in his youth.



If you show a little kindness to others it will inspire people to practice kindness and to pass it on to others.  Here are some ideas on how to be kind to others:

Make someone laugh 
Pick up trash
Open the door for someone
Spend time with someone
Share a toy with a friend
Plant a tree

For more ideas go to


Lets Move Calendar.jpgThe "Get Moving Today Activity Calendar" developed by Head Start Body Start provides fun ways to help preschoolers be active. Check out the February Calendar. There is an activity you can do at home with your child every day of the month!



It’s never too early to help children express love and friendship in ways that transcend materialism.  Because young children are concrete thinkers, it’s hard for them to understand a concept that can’t be represented by objects.  But by watching you give gifts of kindness, time, compassion, respect, and thoughtfulness to the people you love----not just on holidays but throughout the year-----they will learn that “I love you” means so much more than three words inscribed on a candy heart.


garlic chicken and potatos

Garlic Chicken and Potatoes


2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 lemon (1/2 juiced, 1/2 cut into wedges)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley



Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, the cumin seeds, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Spread in a large baking dish and roast until the potatoes begin to brown, 25 to 30 minutes. 
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar and lemon juice. Remove the baking dish from the oven, push the potatoes to the sides and arrange the chicken breasts in the middle. Season the chicken with salt and drizzle with the garlic mixture. Return to the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. 
Remove from the oven; transfer the chicken to a cutting board and slice. Add the cilantro to the baking dish and toss with the potatoes. Serve the chicken with the potatoes and lemon wedges. Drizzle with the pan juices.

"Everything we do improves the lives of children.”

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