The U.S. Department of Education awarded Florida A&M University (FAMU) with a multi-year grant funded at $183,437 annually until 2014 to support its New Beginnings-Educational Research Center for Child Development (NB-ERCCD). FAMU’s NB-ERCCD provides care for children ages 2 ½ to 5 years of age, and is one of ten campus-based child development centers in the State of Florida.
Reva B. Myers, director of FAMU’s NB-ERCCD and principal investigator for the project is proud that FAMU was one of the three state universities in Florida to receive the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant.
“NB-ERCCD was able to expand program services after receiving the U.S. Department of Education’s CCAMPIS grant award in 2006 and again for 2010 in the amount of $1,464,000 over a eight year period. The funds have been used and will continue to be used for the specific goal of improving the university’s capacity to serve the low-income student/parent population; thereby increasing the retention and graduation rates of low-income students/parents, and improving the quality of student life for all students/parents matriculating at the university.”
The shared goals of the Educational Research Centers are as follows:
* Provide quality childcare services for students/parents, faculty, staff and the surrounding communities;
* Provide an established on-site facility for internship training and practical experience for students needing to fulfill course requirements;
* Provide the necessary population for research projects conducted by faculty and graduate students from various academic departments; and
* Serve as a model facility for the surrounding communities.
K. Ken Redda, professor and interim vice president for Research commended Myers on her leadership and hard work.
“This is the kind of leadership, initiative and drive we need and expect from our administrators, faculty and staff at FAMU, constantly looking out for funding from all sources since direct state funding is dwindling,” said Redda. “The New Beginnings-Educational Research Center for Child Development serves a vital function at FAMU by supporting our students with children. It certainly goes a long way in boosting both our retention and graduation rates. I congratulate the hard work and dedication of Dr. William Hudson, Jr. and Dr. Reva Myers for securing this level of funding for FAMU.”
According to Myers, FAMU’s NB-ERCCD provides a full and comprehensive menu of services to the growing low-income student/parent population on FAMU’s campus through its Project STAARS (Students That Access Affordable Resources Succeed). Project STAARS provides an array of services and activities for low-income students/parents. Services and activities include reduced childcare fees for low-income students/parents; contract with the State of Florida for the Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program; contract with Leon County's Early Learning Coalition to subsidize the cost of childcare tuition for low-income students/parents; education and outreach services through resources and referrals; and parent power workshops.
The Center provides services for 93 families in the pre-school program and 20 families in the after-school program. The center is staffed by 17 well-trained individuals with operating hours from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for pre-school children, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for school age children and 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for evening care students during fall and spring semesters.
For more information on FAMU’s New Beginnings, call (850) 599-3267.