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EASTON — Learning at the early childhood center at Southeastern Regional Vocational-Technical High School in Easton is not just for little kids.
The pre-school youngsters do enjoy a classroom “hay ride,” they pick apples from a tree, color and make crafts at a table and have fun in their playground.
But high school students also have found the center to be an educational experience.
The pre-school program – which enrolls mostly the children of school employees but also some kids from surrounding communities – has been in existence for more than 10 years.
Its current location is new.
Students in the school’s construction, plumbing, electrical and other programs built the center last year – and the 35 to 40 students in the early childhood program are getting hands-on experience working at various times with the approximately 20 preschool children.
“That’s important because it makes it more of a family,” program director Sharon Barrows said of the close interaction the children enjoy with the high school students and older staff.
“The classroom is a community,” she said. “You can easily meet their needs, developmentally and socially.”
If a high school student in the program graduates with an A or B average, he or she will receive a letter of recommendation from the school to be certified by the state as a pre-school teacher.
“This gives them the foundation for anything they want to do in childhood education,” Barrows said. “They could go on to be a phys ed teacher, an adjustment counselor, a pediatrician and they could work while they go to school.”
Student Fanta Gibson, 15, of Brockton looked on at the kids on the classroom “hay ride” one day. She has nieces and nephews that she baby sits so she knows she likes working with children.
“I thought (the early childhood education program) would be a good program because they do interactive stuff,” Gibson said. “I want to either be a teacher for elementary school kids or help kids with their problems.”
While his mother worked with toddlers, Jeremy O’Handley, 15, of Brockton said he wants to work with high school students one day.
“I got interested because I liked the education program and learning how to educate children,” O’Handley said. “While a lot of the activities meet the needs of the children, there is more of a focus on making them feel accepted while they are learning.”
Cassandra Coughlin, 16, of Norton has wanted to work with children her entire life and wants to be a toddler or young pre-school teacher.
“When you try to teach them something and they come in the next day and know it, you know you (did) something important,” Coughlin said.
Read more: http://www.enterprisenews.com/answerbook/avon/x1913820388/Students-of-all-ages-learn-lessons-at-Southeastern-Vocational-Technical-High-School-early-childhood-center#ixzz29NhPutYn