Giggles and the joyful noise of happy children are filling the air at historic Bennett College, where Guilford Child Development recently opened its new early childhood education center at the Martin Dixon House.
The campus is one of the oldest historic Black colleges and universities in North Carolina. Located on Gorrell Street in Bennett’s Martin Dixon Intergenerational Center, the new educational facility provides Head Start, Early Head Start and N.C. pre-K programs, primarily serving low-income families.
More than three dozen students are expected to participate in the programs.
When the Bennett College-Guilford Child Development was initially announced, Laura Colson, Bennett’s vice president of Academic Affairs, said, “It allows our campus to work and serve side-by-side with an acclaimed early childhood education organization that empowers children and families. Bennett College believes the old adage, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ — we are that village.”
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Bennett College alumna and North Carolina state Sen. Gladys A. Robinson, a member of the Senate’s Education Committee, stressed the importance of the program for children whose parents do not have the resources.
“As a Bennett Belle, and former board chair, we are aware of Bennett’s successful history with its Children’s House,” Robinson said. “We are proud of this partnership between Bennett and GCD to ensure readiness to learn for young children in Greensboro. We encourage others to follow such collaborations.”
Maria Layne-Stevens, GCD chief executive officer, expressed gratitude to Robinson for her “vision and work to move our partnership forward in a significant way that will test the boundaries of the traditional approach to early learning and adult education to create an ecosystem of resources and support for our youngest learners and adult students. This partnership will be the springboard for young children and adult learners as they prepare for success in school and life.”