Playground Renovation Fund
Playgrounds serve an essential role in the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical well-being of children during the early childhood years. It is a natural tool for children to develop resiliency as they learn to cooperate, overcome challenges, and negotiate with others. Regular access to high quality outdoor play spaces is positively related to children’s overall health status. The west playground at the Child Development Laboratory building is in dire need of upgrading. It was last upgraded in the mid-1990s, and is quickly reaching the end of its usefulness as a positive learning environment for young children. Gifts to the playground fund will allow the CDL to create an outdoor learning environment in which both young learners (children enrolled in the CDL program) and adult learners (college students, instructors, researchers) can grow and expand their horizons together.
Child Development Laboratory Fund
Gifts of all sizes to support the Child Development Laboratory fund are imperative to create immediate and positive impacts. Contributions to this fund support initiatives such as:
1) Scholarship Funds for Children
Access, both availability and affordability, to high-quality early care and education programs plays a significant role in facilitating young children’s positive growth across all developmental domains (i.e., social, emotional, cognitive, physical, etc.). There is robust research literature indicating that access to high-quality, intensive early care and education programs is especially important for low-income children, with lasting positive effects such as greater school success, higher graduation rates, lower juvenile crime, decreased need for special education services later, and lower adolescent pregnancy rates.
2) Professional Development Funds
The CDL program is fortunate to have highly skilled and well-educated teachers working in our classrooms who are able to implement what science informs us is “best practices” in early care and education classrooms. Professional development is an ongoing process that prepares early childhood educators to develop and expand upon their skills and knowledge for teachers at all levels of the career trajectories. There is a growing body of research suggesting that early childhood professionals benefit greatly from professional development opportunities beyond minimal training—and that these benefits are passed on to the children in their care and classrooms.
3) Learning Equipment
Young children make many connections when they participate in meaningful activities in classroom environments that include integrated activities and connect several types of learning. Such experiences provide the types of stimulation needed for several aspects of brain development. The types of equipment and learning tools available in early childhood classrooms support such integrated learning when they are readily accessible to the children, and appropriate for the developmental levels of the children within the environments.