“To this day I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom." -- Rosa Parks
Our mission is simple: To enhance the development of very young children and promote healthy family functioning.
National Association for the Education of Young Children Accreditation (NAEYC) of programs for young children represents the mark of quality in early childhood education. NAEYC Accreditation began in 1985 with the goal of providing an accrediting system that would raise the level of early childhood programs.
Today, more than 7,000 programs are NAEYC Accredited supporting greater readiness for and success in school.
This rigourous process started two years ago with an enrollment request followed by an 18 page application form initiating a year long self assessment process. Multiple staff and family surveys guided our progress as well as ongoing professional development opportunities supporting the development and continum of NAEYC’s 10 assessed standards including Relationships, Curriculum, Teaching, Assessment, Health, Teachers, Families, Community Relationships, Physical Enviornments, and Leadership and Management.
Program commendations were given to the Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center in the areas of Relationships, Teaching, Assessment, Health, Families, Community Relationships and Leadership and Management.
Prekindergarten on the Range
Home Base Visitation Services
(Early Head Start)
Early Head Start (EHS) offers free weekly 90-minute home visits by a certified teacher for children between the ages of birth to three, bimonthly parent and child group meetings, resources and referrals to community resources, developmental screenings, and an early partnership between home and school.
Full Day Educational Services
(Head Start and State Pilot Project)
Head Start and the State Pilot Project offers a free year-round, full-day developmentally appropriate educational program for children who turn three by September 1, certified teachers in every classroom, referrals to community resources, developmental screenings, and free breakfast, lunch and snack.
The Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center utilizes a unique environment, apart from the rest of Union's school sites, to help the classrooms resemble children's homelife.
This effect is accomplished through low-level lighting and thoughtful presentation and placement of open-ended authentic materials supporting both academics and social emotional competency.
And, of course, lots and lots of hugs and personal attention! The idea is designed to ease children's transition to a school environment and make the center more welcoming. Below are sample classroom environments:
Identity, Community and Long-Term Investigations
Students engage in a variety of activities supporting community and identity, often following a long term investigation though the school year as they build upon lessons they have previously explored. Students work both in small groups and independently while certified teachers offer explorations encouraging creativity, critical thinking skills and socialization. Parents are integral throughout this process and participate in activities that encourage and support children.
Alycia Pennington received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Northeastern State University. She completed her Master of School Administration degree, also from NSU in 2008. She was named principal of the Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center in spring 2016. Pennington has served as the principal at Boevers Elementary for five years as well as an assistant principal for Rosa Parks and McAuliffe in previous years. She also has served as a teacher at Andersen Elementary.
Pennington has been married for 27 years to Scott Pennington, who is director of Hope – Guidance – Social and Emotional Learning for Union. They have four children.