Easterseals Southern California/ Photo by Reggie Ige
On Wednesday, Nov. 3, Easterseals Southern California held an Open House in celebration of the official opening of its newly renovated and expanded Child Development Center in Ventura.
The newly renovated space includes classrooms, a computer lab for parents who may not have access to technology or the Internet, a reading gazebo, a stage for music and plays, and several interactive playgrounds. One major highlight is the Garden of Eatin’, a garden, greenhouse and outdoor kitchen where kids can grow plants and produce, learn healthy eating habits and explore hands-on food preparation. The project was done with federal funding from the Head Start program, monies from the California Department of Education and community support from individuals and corporations.
“Children receive rich learning experiences that are meaningful and culturally relevant,” said Regional Director Anna Izaguirre. “Our outdoor learning environment exposes children to Science, Technology, Reading/Relationships, Engineering, Arts and Math (STREAM). We work with our local community and are able to provide enrichment classes including music, dance, cooking, gardening, pottery and healthy eating. The learning that happens indoors is also enhanced outdoors in a fun and engaging manner.”
The center serves 168 kids ages 0 to 5 with Early Head Start and other pre-school services that are free to income-eligible families. Children who participate in Easterseals Child Development Services come from the local communities of Fillmore, Oxnard, Saticoy, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula and Ventura.