Three in the RLCF Children’s Center obtain Master’s Degrees, spots open in classroom

INA, Ill. (July 17, 2013) – At its best, education starts early and never stops. At the Rend Lake College Foundation Children’s Center, three employees recently proved it by completing their master’s degrees, and they are ready to put their enhanced abilities to work for area preschoolers.

Brooke May, Director of the Children’s Center, along with Lead Pre-K teacher Rene Crouse and Lead Preschool teacher Emily Rancuret, graduated in May from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with Master of Science degrees in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Teacher Leadership.

Childrens CenterDEGREES IN HAND - Rend Lake College Foundation Children's Center Director
Brooke May, right, stands with fellow staff members Rene Crouse, center, and Emily
Rancuret in May afterreceiving their Masters of Science Degrees in Curriculum and
Instruction with a specialization in Teacher Leadership. Crouse and Rancuret teach
in the Pre-K and preschool rooms respecitvely at the Children's Center. (Submitted


“This degree helps us improve the quality of teaching here at the Children’s Center,” said May. “It was a very long road to get here, but our degrees tie in nicely with the work we do at the Children’s Center. We all started in the fall of 2011 and graduated in May 2013. We walked together at our graduation ceremony and it was great to get to do this together.”

May also holds a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education with specialization in Child and Family Services. Crouse and Rancuret also hold Bachelor’s degrees in Early Childhood Education with specialization in Preschool/Primary with Type 04 Certificates, which allow them to teach in classrooms with children from birth up to age 8.

With their new degrees, May said the trio is looking to start off the fall with full classrooms. Anyone interested is encouraged to register early, before the rooms fill up.

The Children’s Center is open to anyone in the general public, from RLC students and staff to the local community. It is the only facility in Franklin, Jefferson and Hamilton counties accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

There are two classrooms for children ages 3 to 5. The free Pre-K classroom requires children to meet eligibility requirements, including a checklist and a screening for the child, all of which May said takes approximately 20 minutes.

“This classroom is absolutely free, Monday through Friday, throughout the school year from 8 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.” said May.

The second classroom does not have any requirement to enroll and the schedule is flexible, allowing parents to choose the days of care needed. There is a daily cost for enrolling in this classroom. Both classrooms offer high quality care and will develop your child’s learning experience.

“We do a lot of field trips, special activities, and parent/child events throughout the school year. For example, we go to the pumpkin patch every year, and it’s all for free,” May said.

In addition to preschool children, the RLCF Children’s Center also accepts infants and toddlers. Anyone interested is invited to contact the Center for availability.

To register a preschooler or for more information, call the RLC Foundation Children’s Center at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1393, or email to [email protected] More information can also be found online at or on their Facebook page.

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