Early learning jumpstarts children's future - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Early learning jumpstarts children's future

August 26, 2006

Albany -- You may have heard the old saying you learn something new everyday. A new pre-school academy in Albany wants to start that learning right away.

Springs Little Citizens Learning Academy opened today, and takes a hands-on and spiritual approach to teach young citizens of Dougherty County.

Two visionaries dreamed up an innovative learning center for young people.

Bennatta Caldwell is a retired educator with a dream. Pair that with her minister husband Andrew, and the two came up with this.

"Knowing that there are so many children that fall through the cracks, they are not properly trained and we thought that we could do something for the community to assist parents," said Bennatta Caldwell.

It's not a brand new concept. It's basically a pre-school for 3 to 5 year-olds, but different from the average daycare. At the Caldwell's school the importance of hands-on, moral, and academic learning is stressed to the children.

"We want them to be able to play some, but still have a structured curriculum where in they can learn," said Bennatta Caldwell.

Glenda Brown has been an educator for 13 years and is director of the school. She places an emphasis on teaching children from a very young age because young minds retain information well.

"They're more receptive because they're just exploring. They're inquisitive and it's just easy to catch on and learn a lot of things and explore," said director Glenda Brown.

And the school wants other young minds to be able to explore too. That's why the school held it's Grand Opening and ribbon cutting for community members.

One thing the children learn about is about is future careers and jobs. It's part of Bishop Andrew Caldwell's vision for the future with the new school.

"We want them to feel, even at a young age that they are citizens of the community," said Andrew Caldwell.

The Caldwell's hope the school can help the little citizens find a place in the community, that becomes deep-rooted for the future.

Classes officially started at the SLCLA on July 31st. Ten children are already or in the process of being enrolled at the Radium Springs Road School.

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