The EMU Bright Futures Site Coordinator at Ford Early Learning Center is Abigail VanBuhler. A former YCS educator, she is passionate about working with youth in the Ypsilanti community. She spent the last two years working in YCS as a first grade teacher (Erickson Elementary) and as an At-Risk Literacy Specialist (Perry & YIES). Prior to that she worked with Bright Futures throughout her undergraduate schooling as she pursued her teaching degree from Eastern Michigan University.
Over the course of her five years at Eastern, Abigail developed a passion for literacy and supporting youth with their social-emotional development. As site coordinator, she works closely with families, teachers, and the community to promote positive student development at Ford ELC. Youth at our Bright Futures program at Ford will have the opportunity to develop academically and socially through various clubs (World Travelers, Readers Theater), social-emotional learning time (role-play, read alouds), and literacy stations (America Reads, reading buddies).
When not at work, Abigail enjoys hanging out with her family, being active, and reading books. She also loves cooking, baking, and playing with her rescue dog Lance!
EMU Bright Futures is thrilled to be a part of the Ford Early Learning Center community! We strive to offer a positive atmosphere, enriched with supportive staff and community partners, by providing opportunities for kindergarten and first-grade students to explore, learn, have fun and participate in community building and leadership activities.
The program runs Monday through Thursday, directly after school until 5:45 p.m. It includes snack and supper, community time, various clubs (such as Young Builders, YMCA), social-emotional learning stations (play-based learning), and literacy time. During literacy time, Bright Futures staff and America Reads tutors are available to help students complete their daily reading logs from the school day, as well as provide enriching literacy-based activities (reading with a buddy, sight words games, handwriting, etc...).
Family events and trips are frequently offered including the opportunity to go to the theater and sports events, participate in math/literacy night activities, view student work, and share meals together. We also offer a six-week summer program that runs Monday through Thursday from mid-June to late July.
If you are interested in adding your student to the EMU Bright Futures at Ford wait list, please complete a Bright Futures interest form and return it to the main office.