BATON ROUGE – It was an exciting day for early childhood education and the state of Louisiana as LSU faculty, staff, parents, teachers, toddlers and Gov. John Bel Edwards cut the ribbon in front of LSU’s newly renovated laboratory preschool.
The LSU Early Childhood Education Laboratory, or ECE, Lab Preschool, a Reggio Emilia-inspired research facility, celebrated its “launch” with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 20.
The transformation of the child care center on campus is greater than the physical improvements to the facility. Aligning the Laboratory Preschool with the early childhood program in LSU’s School of Education increases opportunities to conduct research in a model demonstration school involving young children, early childhood educators, university students, and faculty researchers, better aligning the preschool with the mission of the university.
The facility boasts 35 staff members and 175 children (aged 6 weeks to 4 years old). The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy focused on exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.
The festivities began with an address by College of Human Sciences & Education Dean Damon Andrew. As the preschool enrolls children from ages 6 weeks to 5 years old, the college’s mission of improving the quality of life across the lifespan truly encompasses continuous learning from the cradle to post-career.
“The College of Human Sciences & Education has a long and storied history of reaching out to enhance educational opportunities long before they advance to postsecondary education,” Andrew said. “In combination with our award-winning University Laboratory School, college degree granting units and professional education programs, our education mission now literally extends from the cradle to the career and beyond.”
President F. King Alexander spoke about the importance of the preschool for recruitment and retention as well as giving children the best possible start. As his Journey to College initiative points out – college graduation begins in preschool.
“Our graduation rate doesn’t start at orientation,” Alexander said. “Our graduation rate for our university starts right here … The better we do [as a university] is conditioned upon how well we do in preschool and K-12 education.”
Edwards also took part in Thursday’s ceremony. Edwards is a champion for education and embraces innovative initiatives that are good for our children and our next generation of educators.
“I believe in giving all of our children the best start in life,” Edwards said. “The benefits of excellent early childhood education have been proven time and time again. They support learning and development, promote social skills and students learn to behave – all of which are incredibly important to their future success.”
ECE Lab Preschool Executive Director Cyndi DiCarlo and faculty are working to find collaborations across LSU, where students and the preschool students may interact. Examples include individuals from the College of Art & Design, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and the School of Kinesiology to bring art, physical fitness and other activities to the preschool.
LSU School of Education
The LSU School of Education offers graduate and undergraduate programs in curriculum and instruction and in educational leadership, research, and counseling. The school’s mission is to prepare P-12 educational professionals to be leaders, practitioners and scholars knowledgeable in contemporary educational issues. Visit the School of Education at http://lsu.edu/education.
College of Human Sciences & Education
The College of Human Sciences & Education is a nationally accredited division of LSU. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer eight undergraduate degree programs and 18 graduate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 977 graduate students. The college is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is continually working to improve its programs. Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education at http://chse.lsu.edu.
Contact Mary Woods
LSU College of Human Sciences & Education
LSU Media Relations