Children play in the outdoor classroom at Southeast Missouri State University-Sikeston’s Child Development Center.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,
Nov. 4, 2009 – The University Child Development Center at the Southeast Missouri State University-Sikeston campus has been designated as an exemplary model of grant funded programs by Moving on Together (MO-T), a technical and professional development component of the Missouri Preschool Project (MPP) within the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
The Child Development Center originally opened in February 2006 with three classrooms. An expansion, funded by a $130,000 MPP grant, added an additional classroom in 2008. The Center also boasts an outdoor classroom, opened in 2008, that was funded by a two-year, $20,000 DESE block grant.
The Center’s four classrooms serve infants (from 6 weeks old), toddlers, 2-3 year olds and 3-5 year olds. It is licensed to serve 58 children and offers full- and part-time care. The Center uses a project approach curriculum, which works with the children’s interests and lets them learn at their own pace.
The outdoor classroom, one of the latest concepts in child development worldwide, gives students an opportunity to see and touch nature in a new way. Children have the opportunity to explore and experience science, math, music, art, sensory and block play in designated outdoor learning centers. The outdoor classroom includes a garden, a gathering area with tree stump “chairs,” a stage with outdoor musical instruments, a tricycle path, and areas for sand and dirt digging, messy materials, blocks, art and climbing.
The Child Development Center held a community open house Oct. 24, giving parents, grandparents and others a chance to experience the facility first-hand. For more information on the center, contact Tracie Smith at (573) 481-9724.
Children in the Child Development Center at Southeast Missouri State University-Sikeston work to put together puzzles.