Florida United Methodist Children’s Home provides faith-based residential group home care, emergency shelter care, independent living services, foster care placement and adoption services to abused, abandoned and neglected children. The Florida United Methodist Children’s Home utilizes a house parent model with campus programs that attend to each child’s educational, recreational, healthcare and therapeutic counseling needs during their healing process, facilitating the development of life management skills and emotional well-being that will carry them to successful, independent living. The Children’s Home has two Residential Care facilities. FUMCH has campuses located in Central Florida, Enterprise, and in North Florida in Madison County. Their early childhood center works to create a parent-teacher partnership to help their children gain the self-confidence needed for active learning, a sense of security, and promote healthy growth and development. The early childhood center offers a planned Montessori curriculum that includes studies in language, geography, cognitive development, dramatic play, math and science activities, and arts education. This year FUMCH expanded their Equine Assisted Psychotherapy for children living at their Madison County campus that has had positive results in reducing the affects of trauma on children, relieving stress and anxiety in building a trusting, non-threatening bond with the animals. This process has shown to counteract feelings of emotional distress and abandonment correlated neuro-psychological disruption that inhibits health and wellness later in life. FUMCH piloted its STEM education program on its main Central Florida campus that works to prepare their children for success in secondary education through project-based learning and analytical thinking. Partnering with the Children’s Home on the launch of this STEM education program is Bethune- CookmanUniversity, Mentis Sciences, Inc., and Raytheon. These valuable partners have provided the staff at Legacy Scholars Academy with curriculum, equipment, and training specific to STEM education in the classroom. Mentis and Raytheon provided students the Mentis Sciences Educational Toolkit (MSET). The MSET offers a unique view into the world of material testing and physical science in a scaled, portable setup. Through MSET, students engage in real-world material testing concepts and experiments ranging from buckling of columns to impact dynamics.
The Education Program at FUMCH is designed to meet the educational needs of foster children; developed to diagnose and place children in the best school situation possible based on individual strengths and challenges, and to both encourage and motivate our children to learn. FUMCH is seeking funding to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) training for children ages K-12 grade living on FUMCH residential campus. STEM is important because of the changes in technology and the growing careers in science, math, and technology. Children will be exposed to discovery and problem-solving techniques that are needed in the future to be college and career ready. The STEM training will focus on three learning types using kinesthetic, visual, and auditory styles, as well as utilizing two thinking styles, including divergent and convergent problem solving. This year, FUMCH implements their Digital Arts andComputer Technology class that affords children an opportunity to earn a certification in Microsoft Office upon successful completion of the course. The Digital Design class will focus on the foundations of digital drawing, painting, and design. The curriculum will provide a chance to introduce the children into a career or vocational path. Various local state colleges and area private colleges offer Digital Arts certifications and degrees. FUMCH will reach out to these departments and area professionals to bring experts into the classroom and offer tours to post-secondary educational opportunities with digital arts study programs.