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Taylor Center to open in October

Longwood University plans to open the doors to its new early childhood development center in October, according to a press release from the university.

Dr. Jane R. Taylor

The release cites the Andy Taylor Early Childhood Development Center will house an early childhood learning program for Longwood families and members of the Farmville community.

The program uses elements from a Reggio Emilia-style approach to early childhood education, a model highly regarded by experts in the early childhood education field that allows children to explore their environment based on their interests and gives them the tools to express themselves, according to the release. The style was named after its place of origin in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Longwood alumna and educator Jane Richardson Taylor, who graduated from the college in 1971, committed $1 million to the project. The facility is named after her son who died young, according to Longwood spokesman Matt McWilliams.

McWilliams said in a statement that the center will give families in the Heart of Virginia access to a cutting-edge learning environment — not just for kids and their families but for Longwood graduate students as well.

“The Andy Taylor Center for Early Childhood Development will provide families in Southside a forward-thinking approach to early childhood development by

Matthew McWilliams

creating a diverse and inclusive environment and employing principles of child-directed learning,” McWilliams said in the statement. “The center will not only serve a diverse group of children, but also provide a rich training ground for Longwood graduates to work in this critical field and as a resource center for existing childcare providers in the area.”

The center will open Oct. 2 to its first group of students, according to the release, and Taylor will be honored at a dedication ceremony Oct. 20.

The Taylor Center’s site director will be Longwood alumna and educator Kim Hailey, who graduated in 2003 from the university.

Applications for children between the ages of 2 and a half and 5 will be accepted online at
www.longwood.edu/andytaylorcenter beginning Monday.

Information about tuition and hours is also available on the website.