First, Only Early Childhood Demonstration School Opens to the Public
Fort Worth, Texas (April 15, 2014) - Camp Fire First Texas expanded their early childhood development center to a public demonstration school this month. It is one of the first and only demonstration schools open to the public in North Texas.
A demonstration school is an early education center that allows educators, students and peers in the community to observe research-based concepts of early childhood development and best practices being put into action in the classroom.
Kathy Wymer, director of Camp Fire Child Development Center explains, "There are other lab schools in our area, but these are geared toward, and primarily accessible to, students enrolled at the host university or to employees of the host organization. Our demonstration school is open to any student or early childhood professional."
The offering of the child development center as a demonstration school is a natural fit for Camp Fire First Texas, which has been a leader in the professional development of early childhood educators in North Texas since the early 1990s. In 2013 more than 3,000 hours of professional development courses were provided that served about 13,000 early childhood professionals in the area. Additionally, their longitudinal work in the realm of school readiness has garnered acclaim for the improvement of students in low-performing areas of Fort Worth.
"This was an appropriate next step for us," said Cheryl Mixon, M.Ed., Camp Fire program director. "We are frequently asked by early education programs and organizations how we are taking current research and transforming classroom settings to reflect research-based best practices. While no easy task, we do this and we want to share this with our community to further the quality and understanding of young children's development. We recognize the critical period from birth to five years that impacts brain development. We owe it to our community to be a resource."
Camp Fire's demonstration school uses special observation rooms and sound equipment; observers have full access to the learning environments and processes without ever entering the classroom they are observing. In addition, shadowing, internships and practicum placements are also available through the nationally accredited demonstration school.
While the demonstration school is open to the public, safety of the children and families who attend the school is the top priority. "Yes, we are open to the 'public' but our public is extremely specialized and we vet anyone who wants to utilize us as a resource for their learning. As with any visitor to the center, they will not be left unattended," added Wymer.
To learn more about the demonstration school or to set up a tour, please call 817-831-5050 or go online CampFireFW.org.
About the Camp Fire Child Development Center and Demonstration School
Founded in 1993
NAC Accredited Center
Capacity for 92 children
Serves children from six-weeks old through Pre-K
Private Pre-K offered
Program takes enrollments all year long and admits as space allows
The child care program is open to anyone
Camp Fire is one of the nation's leading nonprofit youth development organizations, serving youth, teens and families in communities across the United States. Camp Fire programs are research-based, delivered where youth and families are via out-of-school time, environmental and camp, and teen service and leadership programs. Because youth want to shape the world, Camp Fire's focus is giving youth and teens the opportunity to find their sparks, lift their voice and discover who they are. Camp Fire programs are proven to develop young peoples' skills now so they can reach their full potential. Learn more about the history of how this vital organization has continued to serve children and those that teach them throughout the last century by visiting CampFireFW.org.