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Herkimer BOCES child and family services instructor
honored with ‘Lifetime Friend of Children Award’

May 16, 2017




Child and family services instructor Kim Fragetta and student Shaylynn Smith at Friends of Children awards
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES child and family services instructor Kim Fragetta (right) and her student Shaylynn Smith, a junior of Central Valley Academy, pose with their awards at the Child Care Council of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 2017 Recognition Awards Dinner on Tuesday, May 9, at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre.



UTICA – Around the local child care and early education community, it doesn’t take long to find people whose lives have been influenced by Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES child and family services instructor Kim Fragetta.

Not only has Fragetta worked directly with children, but she also has been preparing students for careers as teachers and child care workers for more than three decades.

“It’s very rewarding to know that my students are making a difference in the lives of children and families because young children are my passion, so this was a natural way for me to feel like I am making a difference – to help prepare future teachers and caregivers,” she said.

Fragetta received the Vivian C. Kinney Lifelong Friend of Children Award at the Child Care Council of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 2017 Recognition Awards Dinner on Tuesday, May 9, at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre. Fragetta is retiring at the end of this school year after 36 years working in the field – including 29 years at Herkimer BOCES, six years at Head Start and time teaching at Mohawk Valley Community College and Utica College.

“It’s really overwhelming,” Fragetta said, after receiving the award. “It’s an honor to be recognized by my peers, current students and former students.”

Shaylynn Smith, a junior of Central Valley Academy, who is in Fragetta’s child and family services program at Herkimer BOCES, also received an award at the recognition dinner. Smith won a Friend of Children Award in the youth category for Herkimer County.

The Friends of Children Awards recognize the commitment and dedication of individuals, organizations and employers who make a difference in the lives of our community’s children and families.

‘Role models’

Courtney Ann Jenne, of the Child Care Council of Cornell Cooperative Extension, said the organization was planning on its own to recognize Fragetta at this year’s ceremony, and the council also received nominations for Fragetta from Herkimer BOCES Director of Adult, Early Childhood and Outreach Education Mary Kline and Fragetta’s students.

“Kim is always willing to lend a helping hand to us. She’s just always been really helpful to supporting early childhood education,” Jenne said. “We can reach out to her with anything, and she always gets back to us right away.”

Lori Bunce, a program educator for the Child Care Council, is a 1992 graduate of Fragetta’s program at Herkimer BOCES. Fragetta sits on the council’s advisory board, and Bunce sits on the committee for the child and family services program and visits Fragetta’s class.

“She’s very dedicated to her students,” Bunce said. “She’s great.”

Fragetta said her career path came naturally to her.

“I would say that besides my parents, teachers were my first role models, so it was something I always wanted to do from the time I was a little girl,” she said. “I always played school in my bedroom.”

‘Ignited a spark’

The Vivian C. Kinney Lifelong Friend of Children Award plaque for Fragetta states the following:

“In recognition and gratitude of your years of service preparing the future early education workforce. Children in our community receive the very best start in life from the high standard of care and education you have passed on to your students. Your dedication to early education has made an immeasurable impact on our community. Thank you for being a friend to children and a friend to the Child Care Council.”

Herkimer BOCES child and family services student Allison Shedd, a senior of Central Valley Academy, won a Friend of Children Award last year. Shedd wrote in a nomination letter for Fragetta’s award about how Fragetta shows the patience to teach high-schoolers and young children at the same time, takes the time to answer any questions they have and provides extra assistance such as reviewing students’ scholarship applications.

“You believed in each and every one of us,” Shedd wrote. “You helped us in each and every aspect of our lives.”

Shedd also thanked Fragetta for the privilege of being in her class and said she hopes she can someday connect with her own students the way Fragetta has.

“You have such a big heart,” Shedd wrote. “You definitely exemplify someone who is inspiring and who has touched the lives of so many. I have seen you, on so many different occasions, talk to a child, and their eyes light up. It really amazed me no matter what mood the children were in you somehow always knew just what to say to make us smile. Maybe it was the fact you wanted to make each and every one of us feel like we were special. You ignited a spark in me to follow my dreams because you saw something in me that I didn’t even think was there.”

‘Future of our field’

The youth Friend of Children Award Smith won states the following:

“For being a conscientious youth who effortlessly guides and teaches children in a caring, respectful environment. We are thankful and encouraged, knowing that the future of our field is in good hands with caring and competent youth like you.”

Fragetta discussed why she nominated Smith for the award.

“She has a very quiet demeanor, but she is very effective with the children, and she’s able to successfully include them in the activities without making them feel pressured to do so,” Fragetta said. “She serves as a role model for her peers. She never complains, and she’s always willing to take on additional duties without hesitation.”

Smith said at the recognition ceremony that she felt honored to receive the award.

“I didn’t really expect to win when I came here,” she said.

Smith said she plans to take what she has learned from Fragetta with her as she decides exactly what to do with her career.

“I’m not entirely sure yet, but I know I want to do something in childcare,” she said.

Smith also was happy that Fragetta won the lifetime award.

“I think it was good for her,” Smith said. “I think she deserves it. She’s a very good teacher.”

Smith’s mother, Amy Thomas, also had Fragetta as her instructor and graduated from the Herkimer BOCES program in 1995.

Thomas said it’s a great thing that Fragetta received the award.

“She deserves it,” Thomas said. “There are a lot of people out there working who wouldn’t be where they are without her.”




Kim Fragetta and Lori Bunce at Friends of Children Awards
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES child and family services instructor Kim Fragetta received the Vivian C. Kinney Lifelong Friend of Children Award at the Child Care Council of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 2017 Recognition Awards Dinner on Tuesday, May 9, at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre. Fragetta (right) poses with the award with Lori Bunce, a program educator for the Child Care Council who graduated from Fragetta’s program at Herkimer BOCES in 1992.


Shaylynn Smith at Friends of Children Awards
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES child and family services student Shaylynn Smith, a junior of Central Valley Academy, poses with her youth Friend of Children Award for Herkimer County from the Child Care Council of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 2017 Recognition Awards Dinner on Tuesday, May 9, at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre.


Amy Thomas, Shaylynn Smith and Kim Fragetta at Friends of Children Awards
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES child and family services instructor Kim Fragetta received the Vivian C. Kinney Lifelong Friend of Children Award, and her student Shaylynn Smith, a junior of Central Valley Academy won a youth Friend of Children Award at the Child Care Council of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 2017 Recognition Awards Dinner on Tuesday, May 9, at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre. Fragetta (right) and Smith (middle) pose with Smith’s mother, Amy Thomas, who also graduated from the Herkimer BOCES program with Fragetta as her instructor in 1995.









 
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