August 18, 2006
D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Education Center is Dedicated on the Campus of Gwinnett Technical College
Center serves as model for both young learners and childhood education students at college
Gwinnett County education, business and civic leaders gathered to celebrate the dedication of the D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Education Center on the campus of Gwinnett Technical College on Thursday, recognizing the many contributors, supporters and advocates who have participated in ensuring the success of the area’s newest model for early childhood education.
Gwinnett Tech President Sharon Rigsby was joined at the ribbon cutting ceremony by speakers Mark O’Connell, president, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc.; Kara Portnell, executive director, Early Learning Property Management, Inc.; and Steve Gaultney, president, Gaultney Development Company and Chair, Gwinnett Tech Foundation. The three-year-old singers from one of the Center’s preschool classes, however, were the highlight of the ceremony. Tours were also given after the presentation and ribbon cutting.
“We’ve been so pleased by the support and enthusiasm we’ve received from business partners, students, parents and the community at large for the college’s new D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Education Center,” Rigsby said. “It is truly rewarding to be able to provide this remarkable Center on our campus for developing the minds of the youngest learners in our community, as well as providing top-notch training for the adult learners enrolled in our college’s early childhood care and education program. The D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Education Center is truly the crux of a positive educational cycle that will greatly enhance our community. It’s a fitting testament to the work and life of Scott Hudgens, its namesake, who had a true vision for the care of children and educational development of the community.”
The 26,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility on the college’s campus provides students studying early childhood education a hands-on experience in a quality learning environment, as well as serves as a nurturing educational center for up to 215 children, aged 6 weeks to 12 years. The Center provides infant, toddler and before- and after-school care, plus pre-school, Pre-K and Montessori classes. The Hudgens Center follows the National Association for the Education of the Young Child (NAEYC) accreditation standards.
“Too many children, particularly low-income children, arrive at their first day of school a year or two behind their age group,” said O’Connell. “It’s almost impossible for a classroom teacher to bring these students up to grade level given the other demands on them. After awhile these children become discouraged with their struggle in school and they drop out. Research tells us that the number one cause of a child showing up in juvenile court is chronic school truancy. We didn’t lose those children during their school years, we lost them in the years before school. Quality early education is the single best opportunity we have to improve the performance of our public school systems, to reduce the number of children going to juvenile court, and to prepare a generation of our children for jobs in the ‘industries of the mind.’ There is no greater lever for improving American communities than by dramatically improving the quality of early learning that children receive in childcare centers like Gwinnett Tech’s D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Education Center, family home centers and from their parents.”
The new D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Education Center at Gwinnett Tech is located in Building 800 at 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043, adjacent to The Busbee Center on the college’s campus.
To learn more about the D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Education Center, call 678.226.6510 or visit online at www.gwinnetttech.edu.
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About Gwinnett Tech
Gwinnett Technical College, one of Georgia's largest technical colleges, is committed to delivering relevant knowledge to meet the workforce training needs of its community. The college offers more than 50 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs and hundreds of seminars, workshops and courses providing specialized training. GTC is Gwinnett County's largest provider of corporate training and now serves residents and businesses in north Fulton County. Gwinnett Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the associate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097,404-679-4500, www.sacscoc.org for questions about the accreditation of Gwinnett Technical College. For more information, visit www.GwinnettTech.edu.
A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.