MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Throughout February, more than 50 students from Worth County High School are attending school in a different setting. Eager to learn about the child development career field, Base officials invited the students to train at the Child Development Center here.
According to Thressa L. Willis, director of the Children, Youth and Teens Program here, the high school students are invited to tour the CDC annually, but this is the first time they have experienced hands-on training here.
Some of the students will use what they learn at the CDC to enhance their future parental skills, while others will choose careers in child development, said Peggy Bowen, the group's instructor at Worth County High. Their time at the CDC will also serve as the students' lab grade during their study of Early Childhood Development.
"This is an active approach, which is critical to the learning experience," said Bowen.
The students' child development experiences are as different as the children themselves. Jessie Calhoun, 18-year-old daughter of Jenny Dalton of the Branch Dental Clinic here, said that learning about the differences in the children and their age groups is one of the main things she has looked forward to during her time at the CDC.
Some students spend their days playing games with 5-year-olds while others learn the intricacies of caring for infants. Others spend the day supervising children on the CDC's outdoor playground.
"I like children, but I am not sure if I want to make it a career," said Calhoun, who plans to study computers after high school.
Others such as Kayla Marthint, 16-year-old Worth County High School sophomore, said she loves learning about children and what they are all about.
"It is kind of fun, once you get to know them," said Marthint.
Kayley Alligood, 16-year-old Worth County High sophomore, also enjoys making new friends with the children at the CDC.
Alligood is learning many things that will help with her future endeavors, she said, especially with her main focus of study - family care.
Regardless of the students' final grades, they will leave the base with more insight into child development. Some may become better parents while others may want to make early childhood development a career.