Friday May 1, 2009

A New Partnership for Children

The University of Dayton and the Overfield Early Childhood Program of Troy, Ohio, are entering into a new partnership to enhance learning opportunities for early childhood education students.

Under a proposed partnership with the Overfield Early Childhood Program of Troy, Ohio, University of Dayton education students will have a new place to study some of the best practices in early childhood learning.

Julia Hobart, founder of the program, and Daniel J. Curran, president of the University, will sign the new agreement in ceremonies at Overfield at 4 p.m. Monday, May 4, at 172 S. Ridge Ave., Troy, Ohio.

Hobart, founder of the Overfield program in 1960, described the partnership as a "wonderful way to explore ways to enhance the visibility of early learning throughout the Miami Valley."

The agreement will bring the two institutions together to enhance the quality of early learning opportunities in the region, according to Thomas Lasley, dean of the University of Dayton's School of Education and Allied Professions.

"This partnership is a way of ensuring that prospective early learning teachers have access to a wide range of skills and approaches needed to meet the unique learning needs of all young children," Lasley said. "This will enable us to expand and enhance what we are currently doing at the Bombeck Center."

The Bombeck Family Learning Center is an early childhood education demonstration school on campus.

Lasley said that through the partnership graduate and undergraduate students will be able to experience a greater variety of best practices in early childhood learning.

Lasley said Overfield program is inspired by the non-traditional Reggio Emilia approach to educating young children, which is regarded as one of the best practices in early childhood education. University of Dayton students already study traditional developmentally appropriate approaches at the Bombeck center, he said.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, director of media relations, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.