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Press Release

Jonathan Potts

For immediate release:
April 4, 2003

Carnegie Mellon Preschools Celebrate Week of the Young Child with World of Discovery Exhibit

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon Universityıs two early childhood programs, the Children's School and the Cyert Center for Early Education, are teaming up to celebrate the national Week of the Young Child with "Young Children's World of Discovery," an exhibit at the University Center Gallery.

The exhibit opens Monday, April 7 and runs through Friday, April 11. It will highlight the children's work in exploring the world around them and will feature projects that incorporate wire, clay, wood, paper and graphics. The exhibit will have four features: painting games and expressions, three-dimensional investigations, whole body explorations and in-depth inquiries.

The Week of the Young Child, April 7-11, has been celebrated since 1971 as a way to focus public attention on the needs of young children and to recognize quality early childhood programs. It is sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The organization's Pittsburgh chapter has its own local Week of the Young Child, which is April 20-26.

Sharon Carver, the director of the Children's School at Carnegie Mellon, said a quality preschool program is vital to the future success of children, and it can be a crucial time to identify problems that could impede a child's future learning and development. Pennsylvania unfortunately is one of only nine states that do not fund universal preschool education, Carver said.

"If the child doesn't develop a positive approach to school learning and the essential skills that the schools expect them to have when they arrive, then they are really at a disadvantage," Carver said. "It's a time for subtle developmental problems to be addressed."

The Children's School was founded 35 years ago and is part of the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon. About 90 children in preschool and kindergarten attend the school, which also serves as a research lab for psychology students studying early childhood cognitive development. The school used a developmental approach with specific learning goals for children in six categories: self-esteem and independence, interaction and cooperation, communication, discovery and exploration, physical capabilities, and artistic expression and appreciation.

About 127 children are enrolled at the Cyert Center, which provides full-day, year-round education for children ages 3 months through kindergarten. The Cyert Center employs the acclaimed Reggio Emilio philosophy, which is named for the Italian city where it was developed. It is a project-based, arts-infused approach to early childhood education.

For more information or to set up interviews with educators at Carnegie Mellon's early childhood centers, call Jonathan Potts at 412-268-6094.


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