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Published 5/27/2005

Owens Child Care Center Children Help Break Ground For New Findlay-area Campus Facility

Owens Child Care Center staff and children break ground for their new Findlay-area Campus facility. FINDLAY - Adorned with plastic hard hats and shovels in hand, seven children attending Owens Community College's Child Care Center kicked off construction for their new Findlay-area Campus facility by ceremoniously digging the first holes.

For many of the youngsters the excitement of taking a field trip to overturn dirt, followed by milk and cookies, could not have made for a more satisfying day. Marked with dusty reminders on his pants four-year-old Nic Rettig, beaming with a smile from his digging accomplishment, summed up the experience by simply stating, "We got to play in the dirt. Pretty cool."

"What a great day for the Owens Findlay-area Campus Child Care Center and children throughout the Hancock County region," said Stephanie Davis, Owens Coordinator of the Findlay-area Campus Child Care Center. "This new facility will enable Owens to provide the latest in innovative child care services for not only our students and employees, but also the surrounding communities."

Plastic hard hat and shovel await the big dig. Owens' Findlay-area Campus has been providing quality child care to the Hancock County region since 1993. The program was created with the mission of offering excellence in child care services by providing the latest in innovative teaching and learning methods. Child care services on the Findlay-area Campus are available to children ages 2 to 5 of Owens employees and students, as well as community residents.

In addition, the College's Child Care Center serves as an educational setting for the Early Childhood Education Program. Students enrolled within Early Childhood Education have the opportunity to apply knowledge, obtained within the classroom, in a real-world setting by working with the Child Care Center children. Many child care teachers and directors throughout the surrounding communities have begun their instructional careers at the Owens Child Care Center.

Kelly Sigworth of McComb scoops up her first shovel full of dirt. Owens' new stand-alone Child Care Center will have space for approximately 40 children - nearly tripling the current facility's capacity. The Center will cost $536,761 and include two classrooms specifically intended to encourage learning and nurturing. Each room will consist of a learning center that features computers, math and science, blocks and construction, creative art, woodworking, reading, and writing. Additionally, it will feature more windows for natural light and an area designated as an art studio.

According to Davis, the new facility will allow the staff to display children's projects so that the parents, community and the children themselves will be able to view their creative masterpieces.

Beginning in the fall, Owens' Child Care Center will also become one of a select few schools across the United States to introduce a new philosophy, which centers on every child being afforded the right to grow and learn in a favorable environment. Named after a small town in Italy, the new philosophy, titled Reggio Emilia, stresses reflection, practice and further reflection, and coincides with the College's ideals in believing that children's unique ability allows them to express their learning in hundreds of different ways.

Nic Rettig of Findlay adds to his growing pile of dirt. "I'm really excited about introducing the new Reggio Emilia philosophy and expanding our belief that children are competent, caring and curious," Davis said. "We are also going to expand our services and offer year-round child care for employees, students and the community."

Additional features of the 2,990 square-foot building will include a warming kitchen, a lunch room, an office, a children's restroom and an adult restroom. A new outdoor playground area will also be constructed and designed to heighten each child's cognitive learning and physical development. Owens' facility, which will be located south of the new Findlay-area Campus, is expected to open by the beginning of Fall Semester 2005.

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students, making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, and Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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