Good news from schools: 4 preschools named a Center of Distinction

Fountain Park Academy, Kindercare No. 301313, Legacy Academy-Sugarloaf, all based in Lawrenceville, and the Dacula-based Legacy Academy-Alcovy have each been named a Center of Distinction by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

The Center of Distinction certificate is awarded to child care centers that meet a high standard of quality child care for children up to 5 years old.

"We applaud each of the child care learning centers for earning the Center of Distinction designation," said Karen Robinson, assistant commissioner for programs. "This designation recognizes that the child care program has demonstrated the ability to provide an environment that protects children's health and safety, that builds positive relationships and that offers stimulating opportunities for children to learn."

A banner marking this achievement will be displayed outside of each facility.

"I congratulate each of the centers' staff members for helping earn this important designation," said Melissa Turner, Bright from the Start board member. "Child care learning centers are an invaluable resource for families in our area. This designation recognizes that child care learning centers are providing high quality learning environments for the children in their care."

Bright from the Start operates the voluntary Standards of Care Program. Child care programs that meet the quality requirements defined in the Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised and the Environment Rating Scale-Revised by offering a program rich in age-appropriate activities involving parents, families and the community are awarded either Center of Distinction or Center of Recognition status.

For more information about the Standards of Care Program, call 404-656-5957 or visit www.decal.state.ga.us and click the "Quality Initiatives" button.

Berkmar High band earns championship


The Berkmar High School Marching Patriot Corps participated in its first competition of the year Oct. 25 at the annual Collins Hill Screaming Eagle marching Invitational.

In Division A, the Corps earned excellent ratings for band, percussion and color guard, while drum majors Marc Maynard and Elizabeth Ericson earned a superior performance. In overall categories for Division A, the Corps took best band, best brass, best guard, best drum major, best percussion and best music, earning the Division A championship.

Also in October, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Band invited the Berkmar High School Marching Patriot Corps to participate in their fourth annual band day. Berkmar was the only band in Gwinnett County given this honor.

Heather Darenberg writes about education. Good News From Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post. For more good news, visit www.gwinnettdailypost.com Monday.