Robert Green wrote -The Early Learning Coalition Friendship Bench Initiative is a UCF PMBA Leadership Development class project to give back to our community and provide practical experience for the UCF PMBA team members to flex their knowledge and experience gained in the UCF PMBA program while serving our community.
Early Learning Coalition of Brevard County serves the community by creating early child care resource and recommendations for early child care resources, emergency child care resources and administer the Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) program for the state of Florida within Brevard County. It believes that character development begins within the age group of 0-5 years old, which is its target client age group.
As such, the UCF PMBA class explored opportunities to serve the Early Learning Coalition. Several projects were discussed, but the agency had already taken steps to address some of the leadership and operational excellence initiatives. Early Learning Coalitions’ executive director Sky Beard suggested we might execute a fund raiser to help expand the vision of a young girl named Acacia, inventor of the Friendship bench, to bring a tangible message of kindness to a broader audience beyond elementary schools and support some of the 190 licensed and contracted child care providers in Brevard County.
Our goal is to execute the Friendship Bench Initiative to fund and place 50 Friendship benches in as many contracted child care providers facilities by July 11th. Friendship benches, sized appropriately for the 0-5 age group have a retail cost of $700 each, so a minimum funding goal of $35,000 is required to meet this goal.