|Updated: 10/18 1:55 pm
||Published: 10/18 1:54 pm
Union Public Schools and the Community Action Project of Tulsa will host an open house to celebrate the $3.6 million expansion of the Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center, 13804 E. 46th Place South, at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, October 30.
“Together we make a difference, from early childhood education to college,” said Lynn McClure, principal of the Early Childhood Center.
Built by CAP and the Tulsa Children's Coalition, the 10,900-square-foot expansion features eight new classrooms, four for 3-year-old students and four for pre-kindergarten or 4-year-old students. Groundbreaking began on the expansion last year and finished over the summer. The Community Action Project and the Tulsa Children's Coalition used Community Development Block Grant funds and a low-interest loan from the Harmon Foundation to fund the construction.
The Early Childhood Center, which opened in 2008, serves 400 students, including 80 in pre-kindergarten. McClure oversees the 3-year-old program and collaborates with Rosa Parks Elementary Principal Karen Vance on the pre-kindergarten program.
The early childhood education program is offered to 3-year-olds from economically disadvantaged families to give them a good start in education. The center offers comprehensive wrap-around services, including social service programs, medical and mental health care, and home visits to remove roadblocks to learning,” McClure said.
Oklahoma has long been known as a model for early childhood education. In 1998, the state became second in the nation to offer free and voluntary access to preschool for all 4-year-olds.
According to the Community Action Project, recent studies show that children enrolled in high-quality early childhood education programs do better in school and are happier and more successful later in life.