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 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.

We continually leverage all funding streams—private and public, state and federal—to sustain our work.

Current funding streams include the Child Care Resource & Referral Agency contract for Region 11—Pointe Coupée; School Readiness Tax Credit donations from businesses; Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation; private donations from businesses and individuals; and a grant from the Early Education fund held at the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

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 devoted philanthropists and advocates for excellence in early childhood education and related programs for the benefit of both the child and their families. We believe that happy, healthy and resilient children and families are the cornerstone of a sustainable community. Focusing on both our children prenatal to four and their families—by providing the best early education and related program—will yield significant, long-term benefits for both the children and their families.

Julie Lee

Historian & Director, Creole West Productions

Sheriff Beauregard "Bud" Torres III

Vice Chairperson & Treasurer
Sheriff Pointe Coupée Parish

Melissa M. Guillory, LDN, RDN

Self-employed Dietician/Nutritionist


Director, Women’s Hospital Child Development Center

Linda Spain

Consulting Teacher, Program Specialist for Visually & Hearing Impaired

Joanna Wurtele

Director-at-Large & Founding Director
Owner, Pointe Coupée Gallery

Director Emeriti

Leshia Sorenson

Director Emeritus
Educator & Administrator, Lafayette Parish Public School District

Felix Lee

Director Emeritus
Retired Chief Building Official, City of Fort Collins

Counsel to the Board

Paul Preston

Programs, Outreach & Impact Director

Melissa "Missy" Cline, M.ED.

Join us in welcoming Melissa “Missy” Cline to our team! Mrs. Cline has over thirty years of experience working as an educator. Her diverse background includes serving public, private, and parochial schools and child care centers. A teacher at heart, she has also been a mentor for student teachers, an elementary principal, and district supervisor. A true advocate of Early Childhood Education, Mrs. Cline was instrumental in establishing and leading the LA-4 Pre-Kindergarten program in Pointe Coupée Parish. Her specialties include presenting workshops at local and district levels and extensive training on best educational practices, positive behavior management, and organizational leadership. Mrs. Cline has a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Arts in Administration and Supervision. She has completed the Louisiana Principal’s Induction program. Mrs. Cline is a type III Louisiana Pathways trainer and is CLASS reliable in Toddler and Preschool. She will be working on her CLASS Infant reliable certification late summer.

Social Media Specialist

Emilia "Em" Urban

Em reaches out to all our families and early education care and development community sharing engaging, informative, and "did you know"  information and helpful tips through our social media.

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.

This position is currently open!

Please submit your resumé and cover letter if you would like to be considered.

Apply Now

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.

Special Projects Consultant

For over 30 years, Dr. Ouida Forsyth has been directly involved with early childhood services in Louisiana. She has experience as a school principal, an early education program program supervisor, Director of Head Start in Lafayette Parish and Director of Schools of Choice. She has served as coach for numerous early childhood programs. Dr. Forsyth also spent time as a university professor and as 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. Dr. Forsyth is CLASS Reliable in Infant, Toddler and Pre-K; TS GOLD Reliable; and Pathways-Certified.

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 and personnel administrator in Jefferson Parish Public Schools. She was a distinguished educator in the Louisiana Department of Education and director of early childhood education in the Recovery School District. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans and her master’s degree in education with a focus on curriculum and instruction from Xavier University. Additionally, she received administration certification as school supervisor from the University of New Orleans. Her specialties include training and classroom-embedded coaching. Ms. Romano is a CLASS Reliable observer for Toddler and Pre-K; and Pathways-Certified.

Addie E. Hester, M.Ed.+30

Instructional Coach

Ms. Addie Hester has been involved in early childhood education for more than four decades with work experiences and responsibilities that has included: Preschool / Kindergarten Teacher; Self Contained / Resource Teacher; Dyslexia Supervisor; Pupil Appraisal Team Educational Diagnostician; Supervisor of Student Teaching; and parish wide Infant / Toddler Child Search Coordinator. Her most recent work with state Child Care Referral and Resource Agencies (CCR&R) has been in the roles of a Technical Assistant (TA); an Inclusion Specialist; an Early Childhood Instructional Coach and a Louisiana Pathways Trainer - Level lll. She has also continuously shared her extensive knowledge over the years as a presenter for a number of local, regional, and statewide early childhood workshops, seminars and conferences. Among Ms. Hester’s top noteworthy career highlights was being recognized and honored as the - Statewide Teacher of the Year in 2003-2004 for Special School District #1 (SSD #1). Career preparations for Ms. Hester began with earning a B.S. Degree in Child Development from North Carolina A & T State University in her home state and later obtaining a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Louisiana State University (LSU). Additional college courses at Southern University and Southeastern Louisiana University enabled her to obtain several advanced certifications. Ms. Hester is CLASS Reliable in Toddler and Pre-K as well as is Pathways Certified.


Professional Coaches & Trainers

PCECC Instructional Coach Team Assistant - Summer 2018
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LEE Fellows - Summer 2017

Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) Policy & Advocacy Summer Fellows Tabitha Reynolds and Mackenzie Jones assisted with comprehensive research and data compilation for our One-Stop Health & Wellness Initiative last summer.  Phase-one involved comprehensive research and data compilation.  Once completed, the results determined a roadmap for developing a collaborative partnership of services and resources that support each aspect of a child’s development from prenatal to age four through a network of services and programs promoting good nutrition, health and emotional wellness, happiness and lifelong success for both generations simultaneously.

Tabitha Reynolds

Tabitha C. Reynolds is originally from El Dorado, Arkansas. She is currently a sixth-grade teacher in Baton Rouge, LA. Tabitha attended Arkansas State University, earning a B.S. in Psychology, and The Ohio State University earning a M.A. in Educational Policy.

Mackenzie Jones

Mackenzie Jones is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and currently resides in Baton Rouge. She graduated with an undergraduate degree in International Affairs from George Washington University in Washington D.C. Mackenzie has spent the last two years working as a middle school teacher at Upper Pointe Coupee Elementary in Batchelor, Louisiana and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Public Administration program at Louisiana State 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:

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.

BRCC and JUMP! partnered to provide the new Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate program that commenced February 2018 at the New Roads campus.

News & Blog Feed

News & Blog Feed


Get In Touch

(225) 618-6688


P.O. Box 578
New Roads, LA 70760

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