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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

"If they can see it, they can be it" Ms. Flora Jones Director of Student Pathways

BEDFORD - OCTOBER 27, 2022 - The Playful Pathways ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Thursday night. Bedford Mayor Sam Craig celebrating with the North Lawrence Community School Corporation embarking on a new innovative of North Lawrence Community School Corporation.

(Kambreyah Baker smiles while on the new playground equipment at Playful Pathways Thursday night)

Mayor Craig with the honors of cutting the ribbon embarking on the new education endeavor that was over two years in the making.

(Mayor Craig cuts the ribbon with NLCS Superintendent Dr. Ty Mungle and North Lawrence Community School board members)

From 12 weeks to graduation in starting a child's education at an earlier age. Education has evolved from half-day kindergarten to full day kindergarten. Now, the push for early childhood education to help the future engineers, doctors, lawyers, construction trades, welders and more as the sky is the limit when it comes to education.

Dr. Ty Mungle told the crowd he got up early this morning excited about sharing this new education experience with the public.

A great crowd of people of all ages with the children themselves excited about the school and the things that are in it. The new format will make learning fun and able to teach children the skills they will need to take them beyond the classroom in their lives.

(Ms. Flora Jones Director of Student Pathways Indiana Department of Education makes remarks during the ribbon cutting ceremony at Playful Pathways Thursday night)

Dr. Jones remarked that she learned about some of the concerns and challenges that rural communities and their school corporations have to deal with. Learning how the Indiana Department of Education can support the students and school corporations.

Several months ago, the Indiana Department of Education pushed out over $60 Million across the State of Indiana to be innovative school and community partners. This is to say, " Think outside the box, come up with a way to really engage the students," said Dr. Jones.

"The goal is to not for the students to remain students for the rest of their lives. Some teachers would like that because we have our pet students. But what we do want to do is to bring up great community citizens. Valued citizens, students who will become adults in their communities, have gainful employment. How do we do that by supporting programs like we have here tonight. When I think about 12 weeks to graduation what a model and what an opportunity to shine across this state, and not just this state but across the nation. To say look what are we doing in this rural community,"

Students can be whatever they want to be. " If I can see it, I can be it " Dr. Jones remarked Thursday night.

The Playful Pathways is fully staffed to help students learn and explore many things during the day.

When asked what the students do during the day, the answer was " What don't we do? " We are building, we have crafts and sensory days. Everything is directed to learning, no matter what we are doing we are putting learning in the middle of it," said Mecca Jones Lead Assistant who works with 3 - 5-year olds.

" This is an exciting place to work and is growing and we have an awesome team, and we have support whatever we need," Mecca Lead assistant at Playful Pathways.

An open house gave parents, teachers and the community a look of some of the efforts being put into early childhood education.

Several community partners United Way, Lawrence County Community Foundation, Lawrence County Growth Council, North Lawrence Career Center, IU Health Hospital Bedford, and many community partners have made the innovative possible.

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