NEWBERRY — The Newberry Child Development Center has received $20,000 in supplies and furniture for its two 4k programs thanks to the South Carolina First Steps.
The first shipment was received in November for one classroom and the next shipment came Dec. 17 for the second classroom, said Janice Ironsides, Newberry Child Development Center’s director.
The center received area carpets, tables, chairs, children’s computers, books, art supplies, science and discovery materials and all of the basic materials for learning and also bikes, Ironsides said.
“With this material, we are able to better implement creative curriculum,” said Ironsides. “This is really a decked out class.”
The teachers were able to order the materials themselves since they know what they need for teaching and for the children, Ironsides said.
The two lead teachers are Thaddeus Adams and Audrey Cohen. There is also a Newberry College student who is assisting at the center.
Ironsides said that when the students stepped into their classrooms, they were excited.
“It was like Christmas,” Cohen said as she went around cleaning up before the kids arrived, eagerly showing off the materials she uses for teaching. “This is a first for Newberry County. Before we had the new stuff, we were basically equipped. Now we have the ultimate with furniture, toys and materials.”
“This has helped me out tremendously,” said Cohen about the new materials for teaching. “We also have all kinds of cultural materials and the kids just get a feel to adapt to the real world.”
A listening center will allow the children to listen to books and CDs on tapes and there is a sensory learning center where the children can play in a toy sandbox area with plastic like sand.
Since the Newberry center received the materials, they do have to keep records and report to the S.C. First Steps with assessments and numbers although nothing specific to the children. The Newberry Child Development Center is a Level A center, which is the highest level.
The Newberry Child Development Center with its 4k program is a part of the S.C. Child Development Education Pilot Program that offers full-day 4-year-old kindergarten to qualifying children. There are 53 other South Carolina school districts involved and enrollment is offered at no cost to eligible children.
In addition to the offerings of the state’s public school districts, SC First Steps offers parents the opportunity to enroll their child with more than 100 private and community-based preschool providers statewide.
Ironsides said that the 4k program is fully funded through this and available to eligible Newberry County residents who qualify.
A couple of spots are open and they are taking students for the 4k program for next fall. Children must be 4 by Sept. 1, 2014.