Published April 2, 2017
ARDMORE, OKLAHOMA – The importance of education took center stage as Chickasaw Nation officials opened a one-of-a-kind child development center designed to encourage creativity and offer a unique learning atmosphere.
The 26,000-square-foot Ardmore Child Development Center provides educational opportunities for more than 200 children from 6 weeks to 4 years old, in the Ardmore area.
“Providing a stimulating educational environment for the early years of child’s life is the best investment we can make in ensuring their future success,” Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby told a crowd of almost 300 that gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“Children’s early experiences – the bonds they form with their parents and their first learning experiences – deeply affect their future physical, cognitive, emotional and social development.” he said.
The Ardmore facility is patterned after the award-winning Chickasaw Nation Child Development Center in Ada, which was featured in the 2010 spring issue of American School Board Journal’s Learning by Design magazine. The magazine recognizes the nation’s best education design and construction projects.
A variety of colors, textures and concepts designed around the theme of “Learnville USA” are intended to enhance the educational experience. Hallways depict a town, a zoo, the mountains and a farm, while rooms are modeled after a movie theater, general store, gift shop, ice cream parlor, fire station, clothing store and other familiar buildings.
Included in the layout are three learning wings linked by a semi-circular hub, 17 classrooms, indoor and outdoor play areas, a gymnasium, a commercial style kitchen, library, media center, exercise areas and more.
To ensure safety, all doors incorporate shatterproof glass and controlled access. Three safe rooms are also included.
“We are excited to open this facility in Ardmore,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “It provides a great opportunity for the development of children in this area and it will add more than 60 new jobs to the local economy.”
The child development center’s design not only allows opportunities to strengthen social skills and develop cognitive skills, it also helps children to connect with the Chickasaw heritage.
“Language is really important to child development, and since the Chickasaw language is so important to the preservation of Chickasaw culture, all of the street signs are written in Chickasaw,” said Gov. Anoatubby. “A language specialist will also be on staff to teach Chickasaw, Spanish and sign language to the children.”
The Ardmore Child Development Center is located at 1001 Cottonwood St., on the corner of Chickasaw Boulevard and Locust St. N.W. in Ardmore, just south of the Chickasaw Nation Wellness Center.
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