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The Jones Early Childhood Development Center for Emporia Public Schools is a flagship facility for early childhood education in the State of Kansas. This project was part of a larger bond issue approved by voters in November of 2019. Additional funding for community support services is provided through a multi-year, multi-million-dollar donation to the project.
At the heart of the new center is the goal of uniting traditional child development learning environments with wrap around community support services for children and families. Students aged three through five will be served at the facility in half day and full day learning.
The learning environment consists of 14 classrooms clustered in two distinct neighborhoods each with a shared collaborative space and direct connection to outdoor play space to support out of classroom social development. The two learning neighborhoods are connected by a shared discovery commons at the building entrance. This space features a library, student activity space, demonstration kitchen and area for parents and care givers to gather. A multipurpose room is constructed as a storm shelter and provides indoor activity and dining space. A full-service kitchen supports the multipurpose space. The public area features a clothing and pantry room organized around the concept of a retail store to support the needs of students and families. The administrative space is organized into three distinct service areas: Building Administration, Community Services, and a nurse health clinic. The community services area provides office space and direct access to programs such as Infant-Toddler services, Parents as Teachers, Mobilizing Literacy, Crosswinds counseling and future support programs. The nurse area serves the daily needs of students but also provides opportunities to extend health services to parents and caregivers.
The learning neighborhoods are united by a common outdoor play area that features both traditional play equipment and exploratory play environments.
“The combined vision and commitment to providing a strong foundation for our pre-school aged children will impact the community not only today but for future generations.”
Emporia Public Schools, USD 253
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