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Learning to teach: COC opens Early Childhood Center at east campus

Posted: September 20, 2009 10:11 p.m.
Updated: September 21, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Student teacher Nancy Sandoval reads with Gaby Espinoza and Nicholas Diaz on Friday morning at the Early Childhood Education Center in the Canyon Country COC campus. Sandoval is in her second year of studying to become a preschool teacher.

 
The College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus now has an Early Childhood Education Center to train future teachers.

"Our college students have a place to do their student teaching," said Diane Stewart, dean of early childhood education and training programs. "At the same time, the focus is to provide a pre-school for 3- and 4-year-olds."

The state-funded preschool, which can hold 30 youngsters, is meant for COC's Canyon Country campus students. However, the school is also available to staff members and the local community, she said.

The center has been open since Aug. 19, but COC faculty and trustees officially celebrated the opening during a ribbon cutting on Thursday.

Another childhood center already exists on COC's Valencia campus.

The Canyon Country center is about 2,150 square feet and includes two fully furnished classrooms, age-appropriate restrooms, a kitchen and observation areas for parents and students majoring in Early Childhood Education at COC.

The center is designed to provide children with a variety of creative materials needed to stimulate learning and social interaction, and curriculum designed to develop and support language arts, math/science, dramatic play, music, movement, social/emotional and creativity skills.

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