Coleman reads to preschoolers

Jeff Coleman, whose family's $1 million donation initiated the Coleman Center's development, reads a book to a group of preschoolers at the center on Wednesday. 

Dothan’s Coleman Center for Early Childhood Education and Family Enrichment at Troy University recently landed a $10,000 grant from Wiregrass Resource Conservation & Development to obtain learning material focusing on science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and math.

The center’s director, Nancy Mitta, said the grant has already been spent on equipment for its 2- and 3-year-olds programs, and more is on the way for its infant and toddler classrooms.

“It’s setting a foundation for all content areas for future success and they also have fun while they’re doing it,” Mitta said. “The resources provided by this funding are instrumental to the quality of this program and educating these young minds.”

The grant funded the purchase of books, projects for its science labs, building materials and more.

Jeff Coleman, the 2nd Congressional District candidate whose family’s initial donation made the center possible, read one of the books bought with grant monies “Cross a Bridge” to a class of preschoolers Wednesday to commemorate receiving the funding.

Wiregrass Resource Conservation & Development’s grant is part of one of its areawide initiatives to promote STREAM education in the classroom. To do this, the council partnered with HeadStart and the Coleman Center to create STREAM labs, and provide professional development and teacher training and support.

“This is a very exciting program that we hope will grow over time and help provide support for teachers and increase opportunities for students throughout the Wiregrass,” Anna Cornelius, Wiregrass Resource Conservation & Development program manager, said.

Center’s effort

The Coleman Center serves children from 6 weeks to 5 years old in a lab/research setting to prepare teachers for careers in education. Its mission is to be a place where children are encouraged to engage in developmentally appropriate learning through play.

“In this new program, we certainly see a lot of benefits,” Doug Sinquefield, Wiregrass RC&D board member, said. “Coleman Center is doing a good job bringing that in early for them.”

Wiregrass Resource Conservation & Development, a nonprofit agency, assists communities in Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Pike and Russell counties. Its effort focuses on land conservation and management, water management, community development and innovation.

The general objective is to meet needs within the community through service, leadership and building relationships.

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