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Kendall UMC preschool keeps kids safe

Kendall UMC preschool keeps kids safe

On the Move
Group from Kendall UMC accepting certificate
Representatives of Kendall UMC and its preschool accept a certificate from Pinecrest officials for adopting and completing safety protocols. In front, left to right, are Audrey Saunders, Leslie McKinley, Detective Alexandra Martinez, school director Joy Galliford and Bill Galliford; back row, Police Chief Samuel Ceballos Jr., Jim Mahone, church Pastor George Lutz and Tania Christensen. Photo from Dr. Joy Galliford.

MIAMI -- One hopes a ministry that emphasizes Christian education for Jesus' youngest disciples would never need to deal with a threat of violence, but the 2013 shooting deaths of teachers and young children in Newtown, Conn., have given educators and emergency responders a new perspective.

Kendall UMC's preschool is among South Florida private schools that are thinking ahead. On March 18, Kendall UMC's preschool received a certificate of achievement from the Village of Pinecrest for the school's successful completion of Phase 1 Lockdown Protocol and Phase 2 Evacuation Plan of the Independent School Safety Coalition's program.

The protocol is expected to become a model for school districts nationwide, according to a news release from the Village of Pinecrest. The certificate is displayed in the preschool office for all to celebrate this achievement.

The coalition is a South Florida effort that brought together area police departments and the Archdiocese of Miami to develop safety plans for private schools in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shooting violence last year. The protocol is modeled after the Miami-Dade County Public Schools' program.

"First responders within the participating jurisdictions now have one cohesive plan of action, regardless of whether the school is private or public," the Pinecrest news release stated.

Kudos to Kendall for taking this important step!