MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Editor’s note: This is the third article in a five part series on Marine Corps Community Services.
In an environment where there is a lot of singing and dancing to music, it may appear to be more fun than learning going on. Quite the contrary - the new creative learning curriculum in use at the Child Development Center at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany uses a variety of music, songs and dance to enhance learning.
“We believe in striving for excellence with our children. Here, they are taught using a new curriculum which also focuses on language, cognitive and emotional behaviors, how to be safe and social skills like getting along with others and resolving conflict,” said Dorothy Bryant, director, CDC, Marine Corps Community Services, MCLB Albany. “We teach them how to learn through music. We go above and beyond because it is not just about developing academic skills, but helping the children develop into well-rounded young adults.”
Bryant said having the CDC here helps the Marines and other personnel focus on their jobs, deployments and other responsibilities knowing their child is well taken care of in a loving and nurturing environment.
“My five-year-old daughter loves going to the CDC because she has a lot of friends there and she really loves her teacher, Miss Griffin,” said Sgt. Randy Herrington, staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Traffic Management Office, Logistics Support Division, MCLB Albany. “The environment is different from a regular daycare and she is learning the structure needed once she begins kindergarten in the fall such as learning to listen, pay attention and getting along with other children.”
CDC officials also focus on growing healthy children and say the playgrounds give them an opportunity to challenge themselves physically and develop their growing bodies. Their social skills are developed by helping them learn to share, resolve conflict and get through the beginnings of getting along with others and the staff helps the children grow emotionally by teaching them to express their feelings positively, which helps them adapt to spending time away from their parents.
“We focus on the children and strive to provide the best environment possible for the children who attend here. Our staff is here to help develop the whole child - physically, socially and academically,” Bryant said. “We are also accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and our curriculum is different from the average school because we don’t use the regular alphabetical and numerical format to teach. Children as young as 18 months-old are learning to count in Spanish and that is just a portion of what we teach here.”
Bryant noted child care centers in town can put a huge dent in a family’s budget, so it helps to be able to provide a lower cost educational alternative to Marines, sailors and other base personnel that meet the high standards expected by the military.
“As proud parents of our most precious family member, a four-year-old son, who is in his first year of school for pre-K, my wife and I are very pleased at the level of professionalism and outright care shown by the CDC and its staff, “ said Lt. Col. Kevin M. Chenail, staff judge advocate, MCLB Albany. “Having seen parents recently lining up overnight to enroll their child in a similar program, we are grateful for such a safe facility that has been exactly what our son needed for educational and social development.”
CDC officials say as long as Marines and other personnel continue to serve here, their children will continue to learn here.
Lance Cpl. Jessica L. Louidor, personnel clerk, Military Personnel Branch, Manpower Division, MCLB Albany, echoed other Marines by saying, “The staff does a great job taking care of my 11-month-old daughter who has already learned to walk and now she is learning to talk. She loves going there and always learns something new each day.”
The CDC is located in Building 7600 and hours of operation are Monday - Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fees for all programs, except Pre-K, are based on family income. For more information or to register, call (229) 639-7930.