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Community Spotlight: Turning a Negative into a Positive: Tiny Fingers, Tiny Toes Academy

Community Spotlight: Turning a Negative into a Positive: Tiny Fingers, Tiny Toes Academy

Bria Cooper

Tiny Fingers, Tiny Toes Academy is an early childcare center that serves the greater Harrisburg community. Established in 2015, Tiny Fingers, Tiny Toes’ main goal is to help young children learn and develop social skills and self-confidence through play. Creating this center has always been a dream of its founder, Bria Cooper. Using a cash settlement awarded to her after a terrible car accident in 2012, Bria was able to turn a negative situation into a positive and bring her dream into reality by creating Tiny Fingers, Tiny Toes (TFTT) Academy. To help TFTT operate to its full capacity, Bria is joined by her mother, Jennifer Cooper, who serves as Director of Operations, and Nakia Ritter, Director of Education. First starting out in Highland St. in Steelton, TFTT Academy has expanded its locations to Harrisburg and Camp Hill, PA. Bria was intentional in locating the centers in areas like Highland St. and Market St., where she saw a need for quality childcare services for low-income families. 

TFTT Academy aims to promote an environment that is conducive in helping your child grow into a well-rounded young person. The TFTT’s program spans from infancy through preschool, and they have curricula that span from 1st to 5th grade. The main aim of these curricula is to use meaningful play to help young children develop social, emotional, and motor skills. Following the Kaplan Learn Everyday curriculum, each child age-groups is provided with personalized workbooks and activity calendars. These materials are designed to help children achieve positive development and learning at their own level. TFTT has limited the amount of technology (e.g., iPads) used in their curriculum. Technology is reserved for students who can benefit from additional help via virtual and online academic-based programs and games. TFTT teachers are held to high standards. They are required to have their associates or bachelor’s degree and are expected to attend 18 hours of training per year to better their teaching skills. Due to their hard work and quality childcare services, TFTT received three Key Stars at their Steelton site and two Key Stars at their Camp Hill site.

TFTT usually holds various events like Bookbag giveaways and trips to places like Zoo America. However, similar to other businesses, TFTT Academy was also impacted by the pandemic and had to adjust to fit the current times. The academy has now taken on school-age students full-time who have only online classes and are helping them with online classes. They have established COVID-19 safety protocols and follow all guidance from government entities. In addition to helping students, TFTT has also been helping parents by assisting them in renewing or applying to receive government aid for childcare services.

TFTT continues to be a great support for families and children in the greater Harrisburg area. To learn more about this organization, you can follow them on Facebook @tinyfingerstinytoesecc or their website, https://tinyfingerstinytoes.com.

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