Early Years Centre opened in Cornwallis

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier jriley@digbycourier.ca
Published on September 15, 2015
kids

Published on 15 September 2015

<p>Young people in the four-year-old program do some artwork with early childhood educator Laura Shapira in their new room at Clark Rutherford Memorial School in Cornwallis, one of four new Early Years Centres in Nova Scotia.</p>

Photos by Jonathan Riley

kids

Published on 15 September 2015

<p>Caelan Doyle waits his turn to play in the loft in the Four-Year-Old Program room at Clark Rutherford Memorial School in Cornwallis.</p>

Photos by Jonathan Riley

kids

Published on 15 September 2015

<p>Young people in the four-year-old program at Clark Rutherford Memorial School in Cornwallis work with tools and parts from a tool kit with principal Nora Vance Gray.</p>

Photos by Jonathan Riley

kids

Published on 15 September 2015

<p>Karen Casey, the Nova Scotia Minister of Education, officially opens the Early Years Centre at Clark Rutherford Memorial School in Cornwallis on Sept. 15.</p>

Photos by Jonathan Riley

kids

Published on 15 September 2015

<p>Students from the four-year-old program at Clark Rutherford Memorial School in Cornwallis, point out the favourite things they painted to principal Nora Vance Gray.</p>

Photos by Jonathan Riley

kids

Published on 15 September 2015

<p>A student in the four-year-old program at Clark Rutherford Memorial School in Cornwallis shows Karen Casey, Education Minister of Nova Scotia, how to play with the water beads tank.</p>

Photos by Jonathan Riley

kids

Published on 15 September 2015

<p>A student in the four-year-old program at Clark Rutherford Memorial School in Cornwallis checks out the water bead tank from underneath.</p>

Photos by Jonathan Riley

kids

Published on 15 September 2015

<p>A student in the four-year-old program at Clark Rutherford Memorial School in Cornwallis and Karen Casey, Education Minister of Nova Scotia, play with the water beads tank in the new Early Years Centre there.</p>

Photos by Jonathan Riley

kids

Published on 15 September 2015

<p>A student in the four-year-old program at Clark Rutherford Memorial School in Cornwallis plays with the water beads tank in the new Early Years Centre there.</p>

Photos by Jonathan Riley

kids

Published on 15 September 2015

<p>Young people in the four-year-old program do some artwork in their new room at Clark Rutherford Memorial School in Cornwallis, one of four new Early Years Centres in Nova Scotia.</p>

Photos by Jonathan Riley

CORNWALLIS – Young people in the Cornwallis area will get an earlier start in school and learning.

Karen Casey, the Nova Scotia Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, visited the Clark Rutherford Memorial School in Cornwallis today, Sept. 15 to officially open their new Early Years Centre.

"The early years are critical to the success and well-being of children and set the foundation for their future," said Casey. "Government needs to continue to respond to the changing needs of Nova Scotia's families and that is why I am so pleased to officially open the centres today."

The early years centre in Cornwallis is comprised of three rooms in the elementary school: a room for the four-year-old program, a room for a licensed daycare within the school, and a community room for parent or family learning events.

Nora Vance Gray, principal at Clark Rutherford, says they are very excited to be starting this new chapter.

“This is an opportunity to build greater connections between the school and the community, to provide services to families and students and future students,” she said. “I know what a change it can be to a family and to the student when they start attending school and already we are seeing that transition happening more smoothly.”

Currently there are 16 students in the four-year-old program who have been busy expanding their imagination, developing oral language skills and social skills.

Their new room includes a corner with wooden blocks, wooden trains and trucks and other wooden toys; a few work tables and chairs; a big rug for reading and talking; chests of dress up clothes; and a small loft accessed by a short ladder-like set of stairs.

There is also a tub of water beads to play with and touch and measure and pour, and a tub of multi coloured rice to mix and stir and measure as well.

The school has yet to start programs in the licensed day care and community room. The community room might be used for literacy evenings for the family or health and wellness events for example – the use of both rooms will be determined by community need.

The Dept. of Education opened four centres today – the others were in Arichat, Amherst and New Germany – making eight in the province and one in every school board. The other older ones, opened in 2014 are in New Minas, Antigonish, Springhill and Yarmouth.

[RELATED: Early Years Centre giving kids and families a head start on schooling, Sept. 2014]

Casey says they chose schools based on the needs of the communities and the readiness of the school and they will continue to expand the program based on what they learn from these centres.

The Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation has supported the provincial project with a five-year funding commitment of $500,000 and the Nova Scotia government is providing $125,000 for each centre.

jriley@digbycourier.ca