April 2020 Student Spotlight – Renée LaBossiere

My name is Renée LaBossiere.  I live in Pinellas County, FL and I have been in the Early Childhood field for 20 years.  I didn’t choose this career path, but I feel like it chose me. I feel like this is where I’m meant to be.  It is a passion of mine to watch our children flourish and be who they are meant to become through nature, discovery, wonder, and fun.  I’ve always believed that children learn best through play.  It is also a passion to help educate others about the benefits of learning these ways.

I’m always learning, growing and evolving with the children and within myself, as a teacher and personally.  Continuing my education is also a passion.  After six years through Penn Foster online, I received my AS in Early Childhood back in 2016.  I have been taking courses through CCEI for ten years now and I really like all of the information I obtain.  As a CCEI course reviewer for the past four years, I enjoy seeing and reviewing the new information being presented.  My three top recommendations are SOC106: The Value of Mindfulness in Early Childhood Settings,  CHD109: Supporting Spiritual Development in Early Learning Environments, and the most recent one I reviewed is CUR125: Loose Parts: Incorporating Found Objects and Open-Ended Materials into the Classroom.

I was already doing many things that came naturally to me, throughout my years of learning and discovery, and I realized that I’m a mixture of philosophies – Reggio Emelia, Magda Gerber’s RIE, Waldorf, and Montessori all inspire me, among a few others.  One of my pastimes has also been running my Facebook and Instagram page, Calming Me, Calming You – The Owl’s Nest for going on three years as well. I also enjoy being outside in nature, at parks or the beach, spending time with my family, dancing, yoga, crafts, art, reading, and writing from poetry to quotes. I have a started a blog and I would really like to write some children’s books.

April 2020 Newsletter – Special Edition: Coronavirus Resources


When you have peace in yourself and accept, then you are calm enough to do something, but if you are carried by despair, there is no hope.

– Thich Nhat Hanh


We are in uncertain times right now.  The Coronavirus has caused leaders to make difficult decisions that impact each of us in some way.  Schools and business are closed in many parts of the country and there are daily reports of growing numbers of people diagnosed with COVID-19.  You probably have many questions weighing on your mind.  When will this end?  Will I have the resources I need to take care of my family?  When will I be able to return to work?  What happens if I get sick?  What if I run out of things to watch on Netflix?

Not having the answers to questions can cause some people to feel more anxious than normal.  In addition to feeling apprehension, symptoms of anxiety also include restlessness, frustration, inability to concentrate, body aches, and trouble sleeping.  Sometimes, gaining more information can help ease these feelings and promote a sense of peace. As they say, knowledge is power!

Unfortunately, we are also in an era of misinformation and it can be difficult to know where to turn to receive trustworthy information.  We have compiled a list of resources that you may find helpful in your search for information about this pandemic.

About the virus and the response:

About economic and community resources:

For mental health resources:

For helping children and families:

For activity ideas:


We at CCEI are wishing you all the best during this difficult time.  Be well.


Resilience can be defined as the ability to bounce back after experiencing adversity.  Imagine stretching a rubber band between your fingers.  In most cases, the rubber band will return to its original size and shape once you release the tension. In some cases, especially with frequently used rubber bands, they will stretch out and not return to their regular size.  In other cases, if you stretch a rubber band too far, it will snap.

As humans, we experience a number of stressors that cause tension in our lives. We should strive to be able to withstand the tension and stretching and return to our normal state of being. If we do not have the tools that allow us to manage tension, we could become stretched too thin, or even snap.

Fortunately, we can build the skills and practices that will increase our capacity for resilience. Here are a few ideas:

  • Build relationships with others who will support you in positive and productive ways
  • Educate yourself
  • Engage in acts of self-compassion and forgiveness
  • Seek connection with something bigger than yourself, whether that is faith or community engagement
  • Create a positive mind-set that limits fear and negative thinking
  • Become aware of your emotions, recognizing and truly feeling each one, rather than pushing them away or avoiding them

You can read more about these strategies and many others in this article published by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center here.

You can also learn how to help children build resilience by enrolling in this month’s free trial course, SOC109: Building Resilience in Young Children here.  Learn more about the course here.