Education program expands partnership with U-GRO Learning Centres

Elizabeth Gipe January 25, 2018 0

It is required for first-year Elizabethtown College education majors to visit classrooms and observe a typical classroom setting.

With the College’s expanded partnership with U-GRO Learning Centres, there will be more opportunities for students to experience that classroom setting in spring 2019.

U-GRO Learning Centres is an organization that operates in Central Pennsylvania with a dozen childcare facilities.

They specialize in preparing children for kindergarten, and this fall, the organization announced that they will be opening a new facility at the Masonic Villages in Elizabethtown.

This new facility, which will be located only a mile away from the College campus, provides education majors the perfect opportunity to observe early childhood education through a lab-school environment.

“At Elizabethtown, we know how important real-world learning opportunities are,” Associate Professor of education and Department Chair Rachel Finley-Bowman said.

Lab-school environments are advantageous to parents, children, students and professors alike.

Students and professors can conduct research while in the classrooms, discovering which approaches and strategies work best in education.

Children and their parents can see development in the program as they prepare for kindergarten and elementary school.

“With kindergarten readiness scores of 96.8 percent, this new center will allow us to provide the best possible start in life for even more children in South-Central Pennsylvania,” President and CEO of U-GRO Learning Centres Greg Holsinger said.

U-GRO’s specialized curriculum mixes both teacher- and student-led learning in order to optimize early childhood development.

Etown students stationed in the future Masonic Villages center will be able to cooperate with the U-GRO teachers to develop the most effective teaching methods for the children; it will be a collaboration of ideas and a discussion from both sides.

In the new Masonic Villages Elizabethtown facility, there are plans for outdoor and indoor playspaces and 10 classrooms and learning spaces.

The facility will be available for 148 full- and part-time children aged from six weeks to fifth grade and will offer full-day kindergarten, before- and after-school programs and summer camps.

“We look forward to welcoming the greater Elizabethtown area community to U-GRO’s exceptional learning experiences,” Holsinger said.

Student teachers from the College will be able to enter the Masonic Villages U-GRO classrooms in spring 2019 when the facility opens. Construction of the facility will begin sometime this year.

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