Cardenas starts second career at FUMC Children’s Center
Linda Cardenas retired from the Marlboro County School district after 28 years as a middle school teacher on June 20.
"I was retired for three weeks," she said.
She has become teacher for the preschool program at the First United Methodist Children's Center.
The First Steps 4K is offered to children who are age four before Sept. 1.
"This is a whole new ballgame," she said.
The South Carolina Child Early Reading Development and Education Program provides a full-day four-year-old kindergarten program in 64 school districts.
In addition to the public school district, S.C. First Steps offers parents the opportunity to enroll their eligible children with more than 200 private, faith and community-based preschool providers.
The focus is on the developmental and learning supports students must have in order to be ready for kindergarten. It involves a research-based preschool curriculum aligned with the South Carolina Good Start, Grow Smart Standards for four-year-olds, which is used daily.
Cardenas received a bachelor of science in elementary education from Francis Marion University, a master of education in early childhood from the University of South Carolina, and was selected as Marlboro County School District's Teacher of the Year for 2017.
Prior to retirement, Cardenas taught sixth and seventh grades at the School of Discovery.
She said she knows the early years set the foundation.
"It sets the stage for their education," she said. "It is extremely important."
She started at the center on July 2 helping students in the summer program prepare to transition to kindergarten.
Cardenas will start with a new class of four-year-olds on Aug. 20.
"I am really enjoying it," she said.
To enroll a student in the program call 843-479-8731 or come to the First Methodist Church Center.
An open house will be from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19 for all enrolled children and their parents.