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Early Childhood Center receives coveted state award

COLUMBUS – The Lawrence County Early Childhood Center has received the Irene Bandy-Hedden Early Childhood Education Program Award.

Sunday, November 25, 2001

COLUMBUS – The Lawrence County Early Childhood Center has received the Irene Bandy-Hedden Early Childhood Education Program Award.

The yearly award by the Ohio Department of Education honors "exemplary early childhood programs" throughout the state, program committee officials said.

"The committee overwhelmingly felt the preschool program narrative and the on-site visit were outstanding and the early childhood program initiative is most deserving of being recognized on a statewide level," the committee wrote in a notification letter to the South Point center.

"We are pleased to honor you for your leadership, dedication and excellence. Our congratulations to you for your outstanding commitment to young children in Ohio.

Linda Sechrist, director of the Lawrence County Early Childhood Center, said the award was presented earlier this month during a special ceremony in Columbus.

A panel of reviewers examined the childhood center, its programs and practices during a site visit earlier this year.

Requirements to be considered for the Irene Bandy-Hedden award include: proper licensing by state agencies, services for students birth to age 8, originality and significance in the delivery of quality education, good evaluations with excellent quality and service to all children and families.

The collaborative, family-centered philosophy of the center was a cornerstone in winning the award, Ms. Sechrist said.

"What makes our center worthy of this honor is that the agencies, school districts and organizations involved remain true to the vision of serving families and children in a collaborative and cooperative spirit," she said.

The Lawrence County Early Childhood Center’s collaborative partners include: Lawrence County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Ironton Lawrence County CAO Head Start and Early Head Start, Lawrence County Health Department, Lawrence County Help Me Grow Program, and Central Intake for Early Childhood programs.

Public schools in Lawrence County that are also collaborative partners at the Early Childhood Center are: Chesapeake Union Exempted Village Schools, Dawson-Bryant Local Schools, Fairland Local Schools, Ironton City Schools, Rock Hill Local Schools, South Point Local Schools and Symmes Valley Local Schools.