About Our Initiative

Our Story

Our Story

Our community has a long history of nurturing our babies. In today’s world we know more than ever before. Research proves that the foundation for life’s success begins in a child’s earliest years.

exactly how the brain develops and that brains are built. Almost 90% of physical brain development occurs in the first three years of life alone.

the value of happiness and good health.

holding our children from the start builds comfort and lifelong assurance.

talking to our babies from birth builds their vocabulary beyond what we could ever imagine.

that starting early with the right type of education and care our children will thrive and will be more than ready for school and life success.

PCECC formed as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization to share information; harvest partners; and produce a workforce to provide the best environment and balance for our youngest children and their families to be happy, healthy, resilient and successful.

Currently our funding source is through an early childhood fund held at the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. We are continually leveraging all funding streams – private and public, state and federal – to sustain our work.

JUMP! is the name of our endeavor – to get a jump start on the child’s earliest development and education for the benefit of the child’s lifelong success.

We know exactly how the brain develops and that brains are built. Almost 90% of physical brain development occurs in the first three years of life alone.

We know exactly how the brain develops and that brains are built. Almost 90% of physical brain development occurs in the first three years of life alone.

We know talking to our babies from birth builds their vocabulary beyond what we could ever imagine.

We know holding our children from the start builds comfort and lifelong massurance.

We know the value of happiness and good health.

Our Mission


Our mission is lofty and doable. We strive to ensure that all birth to four-year-old children in Pointe Coupée Parish have access to the highest-quality early childhood developmental and educational programs so all are ready for school.


JUMP! is the local resource connecting the network of stakeholders and partners for the benefit of the child and their family's success. Our children will be ready when our families are ready, when our teachers are ready, and when our early child care learning centers are ready.

Our Team

Board of Directors

Our board members come from a wide range of professional backgrounds, and are all devoted philanthropists and advocates for excellence in early childhood education. We believe that providing our children with the best early education available yields significant, long-term benefits for both the children and their families, and is ultimately the cornerstone of a caring and sustainable community.

Julie Lee

Historian & Director, Creole West Productions

Terri Myer

Executive Vice President, Comfort Keepers

Felix Lee

Retired Chief Building Official, City of Fort Collins, CO

Leshia Sorenson

Educator, Lafayette Parish Public School District

Joanna Wurtele

Vice Chairperson & Founding Director
Owner, Pointe Coupée Gallery

Communications & Information Director

Acting as our common voice, our Communications and Information Director (CID) informs our stakeholders, community, families, child care professionals, partners and prospective donors about the value of early education. Our CID will also continue the dialogue about the importance of early childhood education as we grow, meet milestones and achieve positive results for our children and their families. Our CID maintains all database systems and outcome measurements, and handles monthly reporting of data to all donors and partners.

William Minton

Communications & Information Director

William joined the team at PCECC in November 2016. In his decade of experience working in K-12 education, William worked with hundreds of students who could trace their difficulties in school back to their earliest years, and he realized that the most effective way to have an impact on education was to focus on early childhood. He has enjoyed immersing himself in the Early Childhood Education landscape and working with a variety of partners in Pointe Coupée. Before joining PCECC, William worked for a number of Baton Rouge based organizations including; the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Big Buddy Program, Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, Episcopal High School, and Teach For America. He spent the 2015-16 school year traveling around the world with his wife and writing about education in other countries.

Professional Coaches/Trainers

Professional Coaches & Trainers

Our professional coaches and trainers specialize in the education of infants and toddlers, and are certified in the state-required coaching, training, curriculum and assessment programs for infants and toddlers.

Ouida Forsyth, Ph.D.

Child Care Resource & Referral Agency Project Director & Instructional Coach

For over 30 years, Dr. Ouida Forsyth has been directly involved with early childhood services in Louisiana. She has experience as a school principal, a director of early childhood education in Lafayette Parish, a program supervisor and as coach for numerous early childhood programs. Dr. Forsyth also spent time as a university professor and a project director for the highly regarded Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Her specialties include training, grant writing, and classroom-embedded coaching and mentoring.

Judy Romano, M.Ed.

Instructional Coach

Ms. Judy Romano has spent more than 40 years working in education across a wide variety of positions: teacher, mentor, community education preschool coordinator, personnel evaluator, distinguished educator and director of early childhood education. Ms. Romano is on track to becoming CLASS-Reliable and Pathways-Certified. She received her bachelor's degree in kindergarten and elementary grades from the University of New Orleans, and her master's degree in education with a focus on curriculum and instruction from Xavier University.

Our Partners

Our Partners

We are uniquely positioned to leverage partnerships, resources and support in Pointe Coupée Parish and surrounding areas to achieve our mission. Our partners support our mission to provide the best early childhood development and education programs and services. We work with the following organizations:

In addition, JUMP! has a special relationship with the Louisiana Department of Education through the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership Cohort Program, allowing us priority access to related state services.

The Parish Sheriff’s Office has partnered with JUMP! to assist incarcerated parents through evidenced-based parenting programs; “Read to Me Daddy/Mommy” video project; marriage and relationship seminars for incarcerated men and their significant others; and expert assistance with Emergency Preparedness planning and training for child care centers.

Partnerships with local federally qualified health clinics allow us to assist in offering comprehensive medical, dental, mental health and well being programs and screenings for infants, toddlers, teen parents and families; Medicaid enrollment assistance; and future access to medical van services to remote areas of the parish.

CCDBR and JUMP! offer parenting programs with a focus on at-risk families.

BRCC and JUMP! have partnered to offer Childcare Development Associate certification curriculum.


Get In Touch

Thank you for contacting Pointe Coupée Early Childhood Coalition. A member of our team will respond to your inquiry soon.
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